The Government of India is reportedly mulling over the idea of installing charging kiosk for electric vehicles (EV) at all fuel stations across India. The government says that there are around 69,000 fuel stations in India, and the plan is to have at least one EV charger at each petrol pump, which will prompt more people to buy electric vehicles. Additionally, the government is planning to ask all Company-Owned, Company-Operated (COCO) petrol pumps of state refiners, to compulsorily install EV chargers. Furthermore, under the new guidelines of the oil ministry, new petrol pumps must have an option of one alternative fuel. Seemingly, most of the new petrol pumps are opting for electric vehicle charging facility under alternative fuel option.
The plan was discussed at a recent review meeting on EV charging infrastructure. According to PTI sources, Power Minister R K Singh suggested oil ministry top officials that "they may issue an order for their oil marketing companies (OMCs) under their administrative control for setting up charging kiosks at all COCO petrol pumps". The authorities believe that it will make a huge difference if, in addition to new fuel stations, the existing petrol pumps would also install EV charging kiosks.
The power ministry plans to initially focus on Delhi & NCR, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Vadodara and Bhopal for creating EV charging infrastructure in cities as well as on highways to encourage people to switch over to electric mobility. Reportedly, the minister is of the view that putting up two or three charging stations in any city would be a waste of funds. Additionally, the central government is looking at complete electrification of public transport in Delhi, which can later be followed in other cities.
Earlier this month, Prakash Javadekar Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, expressed similar views while speaking at the 60th Annual Convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Talking about the push for EVs he said, "The Government is also focusing on e-mobility by pushing for creating better infrastructure and providing an incentive to electric vehicle manufacturers. Once the cost of electrified vehicles goes down, demand will increase, and this segment will be highly profitable."
Earlier in July 2020, the power ministry had banned the import of equipment for power from prior reference nations, essentially China and Pakistan. Staying firm on its decision, the Power Minister had directed officials in the meeting that no chargers shall be imported from prior reference countries as specified earlier.