Chennai

Battery charging/swapping stations to be opened at fuel outlets

Pilot project: The first of the charging/swapping station will come up in HPCL’s Saidapet outlet.  

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) will soon begin setting up battery charging/swapping stations at its fuel outlets in Tamil Nadu. It has tied up with a private company to set up pilots at two outlets. The first will come up at Saidapet by the end of this year.

“This infrastructure is being created to offer wider fuel choices to our customers. We will be covering more fuel outlets as demand grows. The company has planned to commission 3,000 charging stations across the country in the next three years,” a company source said.

Not stopping with drawing power to charge batteries, the fuel outlets will also have solar panels and any excess power generated will be given back to the grid.

“We will be charging batteries using solar power. At present, we can install solar panels with a capacity of 10 KW/hour to 15 KW/hour. If approvals come from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for installing solar panels atop canopies, we can depend entirely on solar charging. This can be done in the case of new fuel outlets if the canopies are designed to withstand the weight of the panels,” said A. Vinodhraj, founder and CEO, GoFuel Private Limited, which has tied up with HPCL in the State.

Apart from providing space at their outlets, HPCL will offer a subsidy of around ₹2 lakh each to outlet owners to encourage them to go solar. “We will also provide them with engineering support to ensure that charging stations/swap points function properly,” a source in HPCL said.

‘Solarisation’ of all outlets will be done in the first phase, followed by charging stations in select outlets depending on the demand. Each outlet will have to spend ₹12 lakh to ₹14 lakh on setting up the infrastructure. “The swapping station will allow the vehicle owner to leave their battery at the outlet for charging. A network of swapping stations will allow vehicle owners to charge their batteries,” said Mr. Vinodhraj.

Advance booking

It is expected to take around an hour to charge a car through DC charging and cost ₹350-₹400 per charge for a 25-30 units battery. Two cars can be charged at a time. If car owners opt for AC charging at night, it will take more time and owners can book in advance too. Bookings at the charging station will be managed by the GoFuel app.

Select outlets will also have futuristic pods where those wanting to purchase E-vehicles can take a look at the models and also compare prices and features.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 9:11:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/battery-chargingswapping-stations-to-be-opened-at-fuel-outlets/article36641013.ece

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