Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) joint venture with British multinational oil and gas company BP might change fortunes for India’s electric vehicle (EV) mobility play. Reportedly, the two companies are working to come up with a plan of rolling out a network of EV charging points across the country in the near future.
In August, RIL and BP JV announced a fuel retailing partnership for India laying out plans to set up 5,500 fuel retail outlets across the country. The JV is 51% owned by RIL and 49% by BP.
“As we plan to go forward in providing electric charging at the retail sites and networks. So, it doesn’t involve constructing cars or vehicles…And over time when it makes sense, we will put charging networks,” BP’s group chief executive officer Bob Dudley said in a press conference on Monday.
EverSource Capital, BP’s other JV with private equity firm Everstone Capital has also laid out plans to invest over $1 Bn in renewable energy investments through its green growth equity fund. Notably, the anchor investors in the green growth equity fund are India’s national investments and infrastructure fund (NIIF) and the UK government.
Dudley also revealed that the $1 Bn Green Growth Equity Fund we manage with partners in India will support the Indian government’s plan to increase renewable capacity to 450 GW over the next few years.
Push For EV Charging Infrastructure
In its announcement of Union Budget 2019, the Indian government had acknowledged the need for a reliable EV infrastructure in India. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman invited global companies to set up mega manufacturing plants in sunrise and advanced technology areas including lithium storage batteries and charging infrastructure.
The central government was earlier also reported to be considering a framework for a major battery manufacturing and charging infrastructure that includes the use of 60K state-run petrol stations as electric vehicle charging points.
In the private sphere, British automobile brand MG Motor partnered with the Indian arm of electronic manufacturing company Delta Electronics to strengthen the EV charging infrastructure across India. Tata Power also announced plans to expand its network of electric vehicle charging stations across India.
In addition to auto giants, digital retail and convenience store network Vakrangee has also committed to leverage its pan-India distribution setup to establish an electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country.