The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s largest oil firm, will set up 10,000 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in the next three years as it prepares for the energy transition leading to net-zero by 2070, its chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday pledged to cut emissions for the world’s third-biggest emitter to net-zero by 2070.
While the IOC sees fossil fuels like petrol and diesel continuing to play a dominant role in meeting India’s energy needs in the next couple of decades, the company is setting up the infrastructure to give confidence to automobile manufacturers for enhancement of EV production and to customers for an uninterrupted drive; Vaidya told reporters here.
“Energy pie of the country is growing. We are not a stagnant economy. Overall, our energy pie is growing, and so all kinds of fuel will be needed to meet the energy needs,” he said.
The IOC plans to set up 50 kW EV charging stations every 25 kilometres and 100 kW heavy-duty chargers every 100 kilometres to weave a network that will provide customers easy access for charging their electric vehicles, he said, adding the charging stations would be set up at existing and new petrol pumps across the country.
With the bulk of 28 crore vehicles currently on Indian roads and most of 2.5 crore automobiles being added to the streets every year being either run on petrol or diesel, the requirement for fossil fuel will continue to grow.
At present, battery-powered, called EVs, make up for a small percentage of all automobiles. Of all new two-wheelers sold, EVs make up for about one per cent while the portion of the same in the four-wheeler category is just 0.2 per cent. Twenty-five per cent of new three-wheeler sale is EVs.
By 2030, 30 per cent of all new two-wheelers are projected to be electric, while 35 per cent of all new three-wheelers would be using electricity as fuel. Fifteen per cent of four-wheelers sold in 2030 would be EVs, an IOC official said, quoting projections by different agencies.
“IOC is aligned with what the prime minister has announced, and it is taking the first step toward that,” Vaidya said.
He said that the company, which controls roughly half of the nation’s fuel dispensing network, will set up 2,000 EV charging stations by October next year and another 8,000 in the following two years.
In the first year, the IOC will target setting up 231 EV charging stations in nine high-priority cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat and Pune. Another 375 stations would be set up in the second year in these cities and a further 215 in the third year.
In all, 944 charging stations would be set up in other state capitals over the three years, but more than half of the 10,000 outlets planned would come upon highways and other cities.
After accounting for government subsidy, he said the capital expenditure in setting up the 10,000 EV charging stations would be Rs 150-200 crore.
The IOC either had already tied up or is in dialogue with automobile manufacturers, fleet aggregators and electricity suppliers for the EV charging network.
On Monday, India did the unexpected and committed to net-zero carbon emission by 2070, reduction in carbon emissions from that expected till 2030, greater use of renewable energy by 2030 than targeted previously, committing to meeting half of all energy requirements from renewables by 2030 and reducing the carbon intensity of Indian economy to less than 45 per cent from that in 2005 by 2030.
Vaidya said the company would draw electricity from the grid for the EV charging stations, which will parallel the network of battery-swapping stations it is set up.
While EV charging could typically take 45 minutes to three hours depending on the size of the charging stations, a battery swapping site offers the facility to change discharged batteries for a fully charged one in a matter of minutes.
Battery swapping is mainly done by three-wheelers, he said.