Gulf Oil Targets Acquisitions To Strengthen EV Infrastructure

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Gulf Oil Lubricants India aims to dominate the electric vehicle charging ecosystem by acquiring charge point operators (CPOs) and intelligent grid technology firms. The company focuses on the entire value chain, including manufacturing, research, and technology. Intelligent grid technology integrates hardware chargers and software to enhance the efficiency of electrical grids or networks through two-way communication.

Gulf Oil Lubricants India seeks to acquire charge point operators (CPOs) and companies specializing in intelligent grid technology. According to top executives, this move is part of their strategy to establish a leading position in the electric vehicle charging ecosystem.

Mike Jones, CEO of Gulf Oil International, a Hinduja group company based in London, emphasized the company’s focus on the entire value chain, from manufacturing to research and technology. The company began manufacturing EV chargers and wants to expand its reach. Jones stated in an interview that they want the Gulf to be around for another 100 years.

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Intelligent grid technology combines hardware chargers and software to enhance the efficiency of electrical grids by enabling two-way communication. This technology allows cars to distribute energy to various recipients, utilizing digital technologies, sensors, and software to better align electricity supply and demand in real-time.

Jones highlighted that India is outpacing global lubricant markets, growing at two to three times the global average. With the core lubricant business thriving in India, its largest market globally, Gulf Oil has the resources to invest heavily in the EV infrastructure landscape and bolster its R&D capabilities.

The company plans to allocate a third of its cumulative investment of $80 million (with $20 million in India and the remainder globally) over the past three years to its EV business. The Indian subsidiary will serve as the “centre of excellence” for Gulf Oil International’s EV charging business and act as a manufacturing and export hub. Gulf aims to export made-in-India chargers to 100 countries where it operates, starting with Europe in the next six to eight months.

Ravi Chawla, managing director of Gulf Oil Lubricants, noted that Gulf’s high brand recognition among consumers, its ongoing relationships with automakers, and its robust network of 10,000 outlets make it a logical choice for the company to expand into the EV infrastructure space.

Gulf Oil has made significant investments, including acquiring a 51% stake in Tirex in August 2023, investing in Indra Renewable, a UK-based AC charging company with about an 8% share of the UK home charging market, and in ElectreeFi. This EV SaaS player provides charging management software services to automakers in India.

Less than a year after acquiring a stake in Tirex, Gulf Oil India expects its turnover from the charging business to double annually, becoming an INR 500-INR 700 crore business over the next 5 to 7 years, according to Manish Gangwal, the company’s chief financial officer. The turnover from the charging business is projected to double to INR 25 crore in FY24 and INR 50 crore in FY25. Gangwal stated that at Gulf, they aim to cater to all needs – from home charging, plug-in at home, and destination charging to business-to-business needs.

Gangwal sees a significant opportunity for the company in the government’s bus electrification target. With 2.4 million buses on Indian roads, 800,000 are expected to be converted to electric by the end of this decade. Assuming that every four buses will require one fast charger, there is a potential market for 200,000 chargers in this segment alone.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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