Bharat Petroleum’s First Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor, Chennai-Trichi-Madurai Highway

Sapna Bhardwaj
Sapna Bhardwaj Apr 27 2022 - 6 min read
Bharat Petroleum’s First Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor, Chennai-Trichi-Madurai Highway
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will be investing INR 200 Crore to set up 100 fast Electric Vehicle charging corridors with 2000 stations.

The public sector oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum recently opened its first EV charging corridor along the Chennai-Trichi-Madurai highway with one charging unit.  This is the first phase launch on Chennai-Trichi-Madurai highway which will be followed by key routes. This route has high existing motorist traffic and a propensity for transition to travel by Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Kochi-Salem section of the National Highway 47 will be the second corridor; this is to happen during this year itself. This fiscal BPCL will invest around Rs 200 Crore to set up
100 fast electric vehicles charging corridors. The total number of charging stations will be 2000 in these 100 corridors.

These charging units have a full fledged offering such as rest rooms, refreshments, food court among other amenities. The cost of these added boosters will vary from Rs 6 to Rs 7 lakh to Rs 12 lakh and if the unit decides to have a booster then the cost may go up to Rs 25 lakh.

EV Charging Corridors India

By March 2023 BPCL plans to set up as many as 2000 fast charging stations across 100 corridors. Taking into account the cost variance BPCL’s investment of Rs 200 Crore budget for this venture may fit accurately. This being a plan in phases focusing till 2023, however by 2025 BPCL plans to have 7000 fast EV charging stations. The investment amount of this phase is yet not disclosed. This being the second corridor, the third corridor most likely will be the Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway 4. This phase will have multiple units as this highway is among the highest traffic ones.

National Highways Of India 

As of March 2021 India has 151,019 km (93,839 mi) of National Highways. The National highways in India are a network of trunk roads owned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It is constructed and managed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), and the public works departments (PWD) of state governments. Currently, the longest National Highway in India is National Highway 44 at 3,508 km (2,180 mi).

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) are the nodal agencies responsible for building, upgrading, and maintaining most of the National Highways network. The National Highways Authority of India was established by the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988. Section 16(1) of the Act states that the function of NHAI is to develop, maintain, and manage the National Highways and any other highways vested in, or entrusted to, it by the Government of India.

 In 1998 India launched a massive programme of highway upgrades, called the National Highways Development Project (NHDP), in which the main north-south and east-west corridors and highways connecting the four metropolitan cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata) have been fully paved and widened into four-lane highways.

Bharatmala, a centrally-sponsored and funded road and highways project of the Government of India with a target of constructing 83,677 km (51,994 mi) of new highways, was started in 2018. Phase I of the Bharatmala project involves the construction of 34,800 km of highways (including the remaining projects under NHDP) at an estimated cost of 5.35 lakh crore (US$70 billion) by 2021-22.

BPCL India’s National Oil Refiner And Marketer

BPCL is India’s second largest player of India with close to 30 per cent retail market in petrol and diesel. BPCL hopes that the EV ecosystem will grow faster than the current forecast and it has proved it standing clear that it intends to play a big role in setting up the basic infrastructure for this ambitious drive.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited is an Indian government-owned oil and gas explorer and producer. It is under the ownership of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It operates two large refineries in Kochi and Mumbai. It operates under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India.

Shares of BPCL dipped 6 percent to Rs 370.50 on the BSE on 25 April 2022 intra-day trade on report. BPCL had just recently partnered with MG Motor India, this partnership will be bolstering EV charging infrastructure. In other latest developments on BPCL the center has put its privatization on the backburner for now while a review of the sale is in process.

India's Electric Vehicle Sales And Retail Numbers 

The overall situation seems to be conducive with the government announcing policies and plans for the EV execution primarily for the required direction, the push being the domestic manufacturing and sales of electric vehicles. Implementation and execution of charging infrastructure is a mammoth project, aware that the same BPCL would be seeking incentives both from the center and from the state government. The dominant reason for it being these charging stations will not be commercially viable due to the low footfalls primarily in the initial stage.

In the month of March 2022, the EV ecosystem had numbers which was good for it. Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) had said that electric vehicle retail sales zoomed over three-fold in the year FY2022 to 4, 29,217 units from 1,34,821 units in fiscal 2021 and from 1,68,300 units in FY2020. EV two-wheelers were the major contributor to the majority sales. Electric passenger vehicle retail sales stood at 17,802 in FY2022, up over three-fold from 4,984 units in FY2021.

As of now electric vehicle manufacturing in India is led by Tata Motors which is an Indian brand, Tata Motors is a market leader with retails of 15,198 units and a market share of 85.37 per cent, this is up from 3,523 units in FY2021. MG Motor India stands second selling 2,045 units and a market share of 11.49 percent retailing 1,115 units in the FY2021.

With a market share of less than 1 percent by both Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai, third position was taken by Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai stood fourth with dispatches of 156 and 128 units respectively.

In the two wheeler space Hero Electric stands number one with retail numbers of 2,31,338 units which is a jump of over five-fold from 41,046 units in FY2021. This made Hero Electric the segment leader with 65,303 units summing to 28.23 per cent share. Okinawa Autotech retailed 46,447 units and Ampere Vehicles did 24,648 units taking second and third position respectively and Hero MotoCorp backed Ather Energy stood at fourth by selling 19,971 units. Ola Electric was at the sixth position selling 14,371 units; followed by TVS Motor as seventh selling 9,458 units.

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