One in ten petrol pumps now offers EV charging, CNG

More than 8,000 petrol pumps, or one in every ten pumps across the country, now offer facilities to charge an EV or refuel a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle in a boost to customers who own or plan to buy the less polluting vehicles.

India has about 84,600 fuel retail outlets, of which 8,900 offer alternative fuels such as CNG, auto LPG or EV charging facilities, according to the oil ministry data. EV charging facility is available at 4,100 pumps, CNG at 4,000 pumps and auto LPG at 700. The private sector, which controls a tenth of the country’s fuel stations, offers alternative fuelling options at less than 200 pumps.

“India is witnessing a larger trend of liquid fuel stations turning into energy stations where a customer has the choice of ordering petrol, diesel, natural gas, or electrons as per his needs. It brings convenience to customers. It also helps oil companies guard their future profits,” said an industry executive.

Oil companies have been under pressure from the government as well as other stakeholders to do more to expand the use of less polluting fuels and prepare for a future when petrol and diesel are not the most dominant fuel for transportation.

State-run fuel retailers such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have readily embraced the natural gas business, winning city gas licenses to serve large parts of the country. And in some areas they don’t have city gas permits, they have tied up with licensees to set up CNG dispensers at their petrol pumps. This has helped a faster rollout of CNG pumps across the country.

The total number of CNG retail outlets, including the standalone CNG stations, today is about 4,700, up from 1,270 five years ago. This is expected to top 10,000 in seven years.

Indian Oil, BPCL, and HPCL also plan to have EV charging facilities at 22,000 pumps over the next few years.

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