HPCL plans to install 5,000 EV charging stations across India
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) plans to develop 5,000 electric car charging stations over the next three years, a move that could assist accelerate EV adoption in the country and win the business a sizable portion of the charging market.
“We must prepare for the future. Chemicals, biofuels, electric vehicles, and hydrogen will be the future growth drivers, according to M K Surana, chairman and managing director of HPCL. “EV penetration may take time. However, when the time comes, we want to be prepared.”
Surana cautioned, however, that a large objective for charging stations should not be seen as an indication that oil consumption will fall. “We want to supply every energy source a vehicle owner may require at our outlet, so that if a client wants to charge his electric vehicle, he should be able to do so at our location,” he explained.
HPCL intends to expand its offers by adding EV charging stations by leveraging its countrywide network of petrol stations, brand loyalty, and years of experience serving car owners. The corporation operates 19,000 convenience stores throughout the country.
The majority of the 5,000 proposed charging stations would be located in the company's fuel retail shops.
HPCL has been piloting charging stations and battery swapping facilities and forming several collaborations in recent years to position itself for a bigger rollout of EV charging stations.
It now has approximately 85 EV charging stations, all of which are attached to operating gasoline pumps.
HPCL's aim is to consolidate its presence in cities or corridors with a larger potential for electric vehicles, rather than spreading itself thin over the country. “We will use a clustering strategy,” Surana explained. “Initially, we will focus on locations where individuals are more aware of air pollution and where governments are more supportive of electric vehicles.”
Strong-traffic routes such as Delhi-Chandigarh or Bombay-Pune that connect cities with a high EV potential will also be prioritised.
HPCL presently operates on a 'Opex-sharing' basis with partners such as Tata Motors and Convergence Energy Services (CESL), which results in a reduced initial expenditure for charging station deployment, Surana explained.
While HPCL and its retail outlet dealers contribute by providing space at the pump, increasing consumer footfall, and enhancing brand value, partners invest in charging infrastructure.
Multiple models for new charging stations are being considered, Surana said. These stations will offer a mix of slow and fast charging points.