Digital retail and convenience store network Vakrangee is planning to leverage its pan-India distribution setup to establish an electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country.
Vakrangee claims to have 3.5K Nextgen Vakrangee Kendras across 20 states and 340 districts and in more than 2K postal codes. Out of which, more than 70% outlets are said to be from Tier 5 and Tier 6 towns. Vakrangee had announced plans earlier this month to have 25K operational Nextgen Vakrangee Kendras by FY 2020, 45K outlets by 2021, and 75K by FY 2021-22.
“For all operators who want to set up electric vehicle services in India, It will make sense for them to leverage our charging infrastructure rather than building one of their own. We are building a large charging footprint on a pan-India basis through our network of Nextgen Vakrangee Kendra outlets,” the company said in a media statement.
Founded in 1990, Vakrangee is a publicly-listed technology company that claims to be building India’s largest last-mile service delivery network. Vakrangee enables delivery of various egovernance services (such as Aadhaar cards, passports, voter ID etc) besides ecommerce, logistics services, banking and financial services to the rural, semi-urban and urban sectors.
Dinesh Nandwana, executive chairman of Vakrangee, added that the electric vehicle space is a huge growth opportunity for the coming years, and having a charging infrastructure will make India future ready for EVs. “We would be an enabler by providing the distribution platform for the EV charging facility through our partnership with the EV service providers.”
Govt Push For EV Charging Infrastructure
At the Union Budget 2019 earlier this month, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed a new scheme to invite global companies to set up mega manufacturing plants in sunrise and advanced technology areas including lithium storage batteries, and EV charging infrastructure.
This new scheme will also provide manufacturing plants with investment-linked income tax exemptions. Certain parts used in EV manufacturing would also be exempt from customs duty, the finance minister added. The centre has also been looking to implement 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.
Among other attempts to boost investments in EV infrastructure, NITI Aayog’s Anil Srivastava said that NTPC (electric power distribution company) is going big on infrastructure for charging stations and what kind of incentives should be there, and these incentives are expected to be announced by the Department of Heavy Industries soon. He had estimated that the Indian EV industry would need an investment of $40 Bn towards EV batteries and charging over the next three years.