The Ministry of Heavy Industries has instructed OMCs to issue a joint tender for 7,400+ EV chargers due to issues with over 1,000 chargers from FAME 2 and the growing demand for EVs. The tender will be on the government’s e-procurement site by the end of the month.
India’s largest-ever tender for EV charger installation aims to decrease acquisition costs, ensure uniform charging infrastructure, and address EV users’ range anxiety. The initiative will expand the charging facilities at fuel stations.
The Central Government has instructed significant oil companies, including IOCL, BPCL, and HPCL, to collaborate on establishing 7,432 slow and fast charging stations. The deadline for this rollout is March 2024, set by the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI).
This marks the most extensive EV charger tender in India’s history. The tender will provide standardized charging equipment, and the combined orders from oil companies will ensure better equipment prices and scaling efficiency. Each station under this tender will cater to the entire EV range, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and electric cars.
The Ministry of Heavy Industries allocated Rs 800 crore for this infrastructure, sanctioning Rs 560 crore as the initial payment in March 2023 for infrastructure setup and equipment at the respective retail outlets.
Charger distribution details:
- IOCL will establish 3,438 chargers; 2,707 will range between 50-60 KW, while 731 will be between 100-200 KW.
- BPCL plans for 2,334 chargers; 1,739 will have a 50-60 KW capacity, and 595 will be 100-200 KW.
- HPCL intends to install 1,660 chargers; 1,216 will be 50-60 KW, and 444 will be 100-200 KW.
Previously, MHI approved 2,877 EV charging stations under FAME II, but many were found non-operational. The new tender specifies charger types for different vehicle categories and anticipates installation in metropolitan areas, hill stations, highways, and motorways.
Avanthika Satheesh from Customised Energy Solutions (CES) confirmed this initiative, expressing optimism about the government’s commitment to expanding charging infrastructure.
The industry, however, is concerned about sourcing low-cost charging equipment. With a global chip shortage, charger prices have increased, which might impact tender prices. Domestic manufacturers also face challenges due to imported components, as stated by Satheesh.
This tender promises opportunities for charger manufacturers. Exicom and Okaya charging solutions, known entities on the government’s portal, could join the tendering process. Okaya EV’s Anshul Gupta emphasized the importance of this tender for India’s electric mobility landscape.
Financially, the mega-EV charging tender will bolster public charging infrastructure development by funding vital upstream infrastructure, which often constitutes up to 60% of the total cost for a public EV charging station. MHI approved financial support, covering up to 80% of the upstream infrastructure costs.
Mahendra Nath Pandey, Cabinet Minister of MHI, believes this program will significantly enhance India’s charging infrastructure, aligning with the country’s sustainability and industry growth goals.