Praveer Sinha, managing director, told Business Standard the company presently has a total of 21 charging points in Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. Apart from the 1,000 new ones in the NCR, there would 100 in Maharashtra.
The plan is to join hands with the three government-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) — Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil. The charging stations would be set up by using the three OMCs’ infrastructure.
Tata Power would also partner other entities, such as malls, metro rail stations, hospitals, hotels, etc, beside own franchisees. Personal and commercial vehicles would both be catered to.
Such tie-ups would, the company thinks, bring down the time taken to break-even on the investment, since it would then not have to invest in real estates. If there are opportunities to cross-sell other products and services without major need for investment, says Tata Power, it would be open to doing so.
At present, the country has 61,000 petrol/diesel retail outlets, against around 500 EV charging stations.
“Since cars and battery technologies, beside charging standards, are in various stages of evolution, we are looking at an infrastructure which would be future-ready,” said Sinha.
The proposed network would have normal and fast chargers. The time required to charge a vehicle from zero to full charge with a normal charger will be seven hours; with a fast charger, 90 minutes.
“Technology adoption and assimilation to suit a local environment has always been our strength and we are working with various technology partners from India and international geographies in the field of charger OEM (original equipment maker),” said Sinha.
On the prospects, he said, there was a global consensus to move away from polluting vehicles.
“As the largest integrated utility in the country, we are seeing a big shift in the consumer mindset. A new generation of consumers we call the ‘reflex generation’ are making responsible choices about energy, vehicles, etc,” he added.
By 2030, he said, Delhi alone could require around 300,000 fast chargers, presuming 30 per cent EV penetration into an estimated car population of 10 million. Meeting this need could call for an investment of $1-1.5 billion (Rs 7,000 to 11,000 billion). So, the total investment will depend on how deeply EVs penetrate the automotive market, he explained.
Sinha also believes if current battery pricing trends continue, EVs in all formats would be commercially attractive.
During 2017-18, of the 25 million new vehicles that hit Indian roads, less than 0.3 per cent were EVs (around 56,000). The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 had envisaged six to seven mn EVs (including hybrids) entering the market each year, starting 2020.
“Under the present government, from initial plans of going all-green by 2030, potential EV penetration has been scaled down to a more realistic 15 per cent of total new vehicle sales in the next five years. Even at these levels, the opportunities for those outside the automotive sector is immense,” said Sinha.