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In their bid to contribute to India’s energy and mobility transition, public sector oil marketing companies (OMC) are focusing on setting up electric vehicle (EV) charging corridors along major national highways.

The companies will set up EV charging infrastructure along 8-10 major national highways by 2025, said two officials with knowledge with the development. The charging infrastructure will be part of an OMC plan to set up around 20,000 charging stations across by 2025.

“The companies have taken sites on lease or are in the process of taking these sites on lease," said one of the officials mentioned above, adding that the ministry of petroleum and natural gas has also asked the OMCs to take up EV infra projects at existing retail outlets along highways.

The official further said that out of the 20,000 planned charging stations, the government-owned OMCs have already completed setting up 8,000 and issued tenders for more. These charging stations are mostly being set up in their fuel pump stations.

Noting that the setting up of the infrastructure is contingent on adequate electricity supply, another official said: “It depends on the feasibility, because, if they (charging stations) are in far-flung areas, connectivity and availability of electricity connections reliability (are required)...But we are working. We aim that EV charging stations should be there at all our major connecting national highways."

The Delhi-Jaipur Expressway, Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the upcoming Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway are among the highways to be equipped with EV charging infra, the official said.

In response to a query, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), one of three OMCs, said: “BPCL is very active in setting up the EV infra along the highways and recently we have launched EV Fast-Charging Corridors along the 900 KM long Chennai-Trichy-Madurai highway."

Queries sent to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas and the other two OMCs, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), remained unanswered till press time.

The growth in EVs and allied infrastructure has gathered pace in the past few year with the government’s push for energy transition and e-mobility. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last November that India will meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030 has accelerated the transition process both among the public sector and private sector companies.

In December 2021, the union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari told Parliament that charging stations have been included as part of wayside amenities (WSAs) being awarded by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and that this will be followed in all existing and upcoming highways.

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