Business Standard

OMCs get Rs 800 crore to set up over 7,000 fast-charging stations

The installation is expected to be completed by March 2024

Electric Vehicle charging

The move came after the ministry received few takers for the scheme due to high capital costs

Nitin KumarSubhayan Chakraborty New Delhi
In a push for green mobility, the Centre on Monday sanctioned Rs 800 crore under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME II) to three public sector oil-marketing companies (OMCs) for setting up 7,432 public fast-charging stations across the country.

In the first instalment, the Ministry of Heavy Industries has released 70 per cent (Rs 560 crore) of the dedicated Rs 800 crore to Indian Oil Corporation (IndianOil), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) for installation and commissioning of upstream infrastructure and charging equipment of electric vehicle (EV) public charging stations at respective retail outlets.

Union Minister for Heavy Industries Mahendra Nath Pandey, while calling the move India’s commitment towards a green and clean future, said that with the addition of 7,432 public fast-charging stations, the country’s total installed charging capacity will cross the 14,000 mark.

“These fast-charging stations will be set up in all the metros, million-plus cities, smart cities notified by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, cities of hilly states, highways and expressways across the country,” said Pandey.

The installation is expected to be completed by March 2024.

"Our ministry, along with Ministries of Petroleum, Power, and Highways are jointly working towards implementation of FAME India. We are working towards setting up charging stations at about 22,000 petrol pumps across the country,” said Pandey.

According to the Ministry of Power’s guidelines, there must be at least one charging station every 25 kilometre (km) on both sides of a highway and at least one charging station for long-range and heavy-duty EVs every 100 km on both sides of a highway.

For cities, at least one charging station will be set up in a grid of 3x3 km, he said.

Source of funding

Under Phase II of FAME India, Rs 1,000 crore is allocated for the development of charging infrastructure.

The ministry has sanctioned 2,877 EV charging stations in 68 cities across 25 states/Union Territories. Further, 1,576 charging stations across nine expressways and 16 highways under Phase II of FAME India have been sanctioned.

The ministry was able to spend about Rs 150 crore of the Rs 1,000 crore allocated for supporting charging infrastructure so far because the ministry was providing subsidies for just EV supply equipment.

With the move, the Ministry of Heavy Industries has now approved financial assistance for setting up upstream infrastructure (such as distribution transformer, low tension/high tension cables, alternative current distribution boxes, circuit breakers/isolators, protection equipment, tubular or plain cement concrete mounting structures, fencing and civil work), which generally costs up to 60 per cent of the overall cost for setting up a public EV charging station.

“The upstream infrastructure comprises the money that is to be paid by charge point operators to distribution companies to obtain electricity connection. Now, the Ministry of Heavy Industries will provide subsidy of up to 80 per cent of the total cost of the charging station,” the minister said.

The move came after the ministry received few takers for the scheme due to high capital costs. OMCs have sufficient land on the premises of their retail outlets, which can be utilised for setting up charging stations.

Industry view

While initially reticent, all three OMCs have since 2019 unveiled ambitious plans to establish EV charging infrastructure at their fuel retailing spots. They have tied up with EV charging solutions providers, often start-ups, on a case-by-case basis in specific geographies.

IndianOil, the largest OMC, has targeted 4,000 charging stations by the end of 2022-23. The plan is part of IndianOil’s aims at achieving net-zero operational carbon emissions by 2046. The company had 448 such stations in November 2021, which rose to upwards of 2,500 in September 2022.

BPCL has unveiled EV fast-charging stations across its 110 fuel stations along 15 highways in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

Set along particular EV corridors, the company plans to set up charging stations every 100 km. The company has plans to invest about Rs 800 crore to set up charging stations at all 7,000 of its fuel outlets across the country, in the next two years.

HPCL has set up 1,011 EV charging stations, reveals data published on its official website.

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First Published: Mar 27 2023 | 9:36 PM IST

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