Bharat Petroleum Enters EV Market: Will Sell Lithium-Ion Batteries In These Cities!

Bharat Petroleum Enters EV Market: Will Sell Lithium-Ion Batteries In These Cities!
Bharat Petroleum Enters EV Market: Will Sell Lithium-Ion Batteries In These Cities!

Electric vehicles have become the seedling of this era. Not just companies, the governments all around the globe too are promoting more and more people to shift towards electric mode of travel. Last year in her maiden Budget 2019 speech, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced to boost up the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles in the country.

In efforts to make electric vehicles more affordable, the centre proposed to provide an income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loan taken to buy EVs. The Modi govt has already spent over Rs 10,000 crore to boost the EV adoption in India in the next three years.

Speaking of which, seeking an opportunity to play its part in the infancy of electric vehicles, the public sector oil marketing giant Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited launched an ‘e-drive initiative’, which is an electric three-wheeler mobility model.

BPCL Partners with Kinetic Green Energy and IIT Madras

BPCL has partnered with the electric vehicle-maker Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions and IIT Madras for technology support for an electric three-wheeler mobility model, in an ‘e-drive initiative’.

Partnering with these two organisations, the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited brought on stream a supply of swappable lithium-ion batteries at its retail outlets in Kochi and Lucknow in the first phase for electric three-wheeler.

Touting such a business model to be unique, the fleets of three-wheelers, also known as ‘e-rickshaws,’ are deployed in the two cities by Kinetic Green which also owns them and drivers pay rental for use of vehicles and a fee for energy provided by BPCL. There is, however, no maintenance cost.

With an increase in air pollution, disposable incomes and rapid urbanisation, a demand for electric vehicle shall definitely guide the future mobility in India, believes Chairman and managing director, BPCL, D Rajkumar.

The operations in Kochi and Lucknow were inaugurated through video conferencing. The process of swapping of batteries was over in a matter of few minutes, similar to the time taken for filling petrol or diesel.

What Can You Expect for these EVs?

These three-wheeler EVs are powered by two batteries and when the charge drains, it could be brought to the BPCL outlets where it would be replaced with fully charged ones. The CEO of Kinetic Green, Sulajja Firodia Motwani also claims that these electric vehicles with swappable battery technology shall reduce the upfront cost by 50%.

The customers will no longer have to worry about battery charging and replacement. The cost of two batteries, needed to run a single e- rickshaw is Rs 60,000 to Rs 65,000 and is borne by the BPCL.

The usage fee for drivers is between Rs 350 and Rs 400 for a single swap of two batteries and the twin Li-ion batteries provide a range of 50-55 km. This is just the first initiative by BPCL and depending on the response of public shall they move forward with their designated plans.

They claimed that the rollout at Lucknow and Kochi was on a pilot basis. A fleet of 20 vehicles each in Kochi and Lucknow is in place and it would be expanded to 100 later and the investment for a single e-rickshaw is about Rs one lakh, without the battery.

Electric vehicles are expected to cause disruption in the present automobile and auto component ecosystem and in 2018, Indian Oil partnered with Fortum India for electric vehicle-charging stations.

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