BPCL plans to set up EV charging infra at its pumps, to invest ₹1 lakh crore
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), India's second-largest fuel retailer, will utilise its network of petrol pumps to help set up charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the future. The oil company has announced an investment of over ₹1 lakh crore over the next five years that aims to prepare it for a post-conventional-fuel era.
Arun Kumar Singh, Chairman of BPCL, made the announcement on Monday, saying that the investment will help BPCL be ready for the transition period when conventional fuel, like petrol, diesel, CNG, and EVs along with hydrogen and flex-fuel will co-exist.
BPCL aims to create a 1,000 MW portfolio of renewable power generation capacity. This could help the EV charging infrastructure it plans to set up in future. The company will also invest in biofuels and hydrogen.
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BPCL currently has over 19,000 retail outlets spread across the country. The fuel retailer plans to convert around 7,000 of them into energy stations in the near future by offering EV charging facility, flex-fuel and hydrogen.
"In the years to come, BPCL has made aggressive investment plans. We shall be investing more than ₹1 lakh crores at the group level majorly in enhancing petrochemical capacity and improving refining efficiencies ( ₹30,000 crore), gas proliferation ( ₹20,000 crore), upstream oil and gas exploration and production ( ₹18,000 crore) and augmenting (fuel) marketing infrastructure ( ₹18,000 crore)," Singh said.
BPCL chairman also added that BPCL is closely watching EV development in India and expects two- and three-wheelers to drive the switch to electric mobility in the country. "It is a new business opportunity as well as a hedge against the risk of displacement of auto fuels," he added. BPCL currently has EV charging facilities at 44 petrol pumps in major cities. The company plans to increase the number to up to 1,000 in the next two years. It has also started pilot of battery swapping for three-wheelers in Kochi and Lucknow.