As part of efforts to move away from fossil-based fuels, the State will have over 900 e-charging stations in fuel outlets belonging to the three public sector oil marketing companies by the end of the current financial year.
Indian Oil Corporation, which has 133 e-charging stations in Tamil Nadu and is the market leader, plans to set up 400 more by the end of this financial year. Similarly, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, which has 79 stations, plans to set up 175 more and Bharat Petroleum Corporation 145 more at its existing fuel outlets.
Sources said that compared to the number of fuel outlets in the State, the numbers of charging stations might seem small. “However, this is a demand that we are creating. Instead of supplying to demand, we are going the other way around. Only if we install e-charging stations and electric car owners know that they can travel distances, will there be a demand for these facilities. At present, stations on highways get one or two vehicles a day,” a source said.
The number of charging stations includes those with both fast and slow charging options. Those on highways will be the fast-charging ones since those travelling distances cannot wait for long. In the city, the option to charge slowly would be offered. The rates are fixed by individual operators and the prices are not very nominal and not profitable, which is one way to encourage users. The investment comes close to over ₹1 crore per outlet,“ said a dealer.
Another dealer said the governments should offer more sops, including reduction in registration fees, road tax and subsidies to encourage more vehicle owners to switch over to electric vehicles.