Tata Power and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), an Indian state-owned oil and natural gas company , have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up commercial-scale charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) at the HPCL retail outlets and other locations across India.
Through the MoU, both companies have agreed to collaborate in planning, development, and operation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (e-cars, e-rickshaws, e-bikes, e-buses), at suitable locations across the country. Both companies also intend to additionally explore areas of opportunities and collaboration in related fields like renewable energy.
Praveer Sinha, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Power, said in a press statement, “By servicing electric vehicles through the proposed charging stations across India, Tata Power will be playing a crucial role in enabling a stronger penetration of EVs in the country, thus fulfilling our commitment to power India’s future in an environmentally sustainable way.”
Rajnish Mehta, the executive director of corporate strategy planning and business development, HPCL also added, “At HPCL, we are a firm believer in business diversification and being future ready. A major impediment to electric vehicles adoption is the range anxiety which needs to be addressed through establishment of nationwide charging infrastructure. We believe that a robust network of charging stations is very critical for market acceptability of EVs which will also ensure last mile connectivity and thereby facilitate widespread adoption of EVs. Tata Power with its focused approach towards sustainable and clean energy and wider outreach across the power value chain, provides an excellent opportunity for an integrated oil and gas company like HPCL to collaborate for promoting the e-mobility initiative. We intend to leverage on our vast marketing infrastructure network in the form of retail outlets and other locations for setting up of electric vehicle charging stations on pan India basis.”
In January 2018, Tata Power set up additional EV charging stations in Mumbai. Tata Power also announced new additions to its strategic network of EV charging stations in the country, the latest being the setting up of three fast charging EV stations at Cognizant campus in Telangana’s capital city of Hyderabad.
Recently, Mercom reported that to speed up India’s EV revolution, the government of India is planning to subsidize EV charging infrastructure. A Press Trust of India (PTI) report quoted the power secretary A K Bhalla saying that the government is considering providing subsidy for encouraging setting up of EV charging infrastructure under a policy, likely to be unveiled in the coming days. Talking about the expansion of EVs in the country, Bhalla also opined that it is a chicken and egg story because charging stations would not be set up without enough EVs and EV sales would not pick up unless there is enough facility to charge these vehicles.
This new move by the government is in line with the preceding policies that have been framed for the EV sector. The Ministry of Power recently issued a clarification stating that no license is required to operate EV charging stations in India. This is expected to boost the participation of more private players in the creation of a nationwide EV charging station infrastructure.