One of India’s leading infrastructure and construction firms, Essel Infraprojects, the Infrastructure arm of the Essel group on Sunday announced that the company is planning to invest close to ₹1,750 crores to develop an electric vehicle charging and battery swapping infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh.
This assumes particular significance, as E- rickshaws, in a largely unregulated growth across India, are today well over a million on the roads, in most cases left to their own devices to charge and operate, with barely any formal charging infrastructure in place.
As a part of the phased investment which will see the total investment cross over ₹1,750 crores, the company is in the process of launching 250 EV charging stations and another 1,000 battery swapping stations across 20 cities in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking during the foundation stone laying ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lucknow, Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra said: “With the launch of this initiative, we have enhanced our association with the state and look forward to doing our bit in the government’s vision of clean mobility. The launch of EVs in a holistic manner will augment the state’s transport infrastructure and also create job opportunities.”
The project is set to well and truly kick-start the EV ecosystem in the state, as the company is also looking into supplying well over 25,000 E-rickshaws to the state. Without having to own either the rickshaws or the batteries the drivers can start earning a living from the get-go. The expected number of jobs to be created from that are around 50,000 and another 15 to 20 thousand jobs in the EV charging/swapping stations combined.
Besides creating thousands of jobs, the project is expected to bring down the cost of battery charging at par with any alternative fuel, while also addressing the concerns of last mile connectivity. The two which have been a major hindrance in the state’s local transportation system. These problems will be largely tackled by the 1,000 battery swapping stations that are being set up at every 2 sq. kms by the company. All drivers will be provided access to digital apps which will guide them to the nearest swapping station where a battery can be swapped in less than 3 minutes. Using a predominant battery swapping instead of charging, increases the trade value of all the vehicles. Which can run longer and cover more distances with minor delays of just a few minutes between every swap, instead of a few hours between every full charge.
“In a massive boost to the electric vehicle segment in the country, Essel Infraprojects Ltd, (EIL) an enterprise of Subhash Chandra led Essel Group, launches its Electric Vehicle Charging and Battery Swapping Infrastructure initiative under Essel Green Mobility Limited in Lucknow today,” the company said in a statement. The operations will start from Ghaziabad and cover other cities, including Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Noida, Meerut and Varanasi. Essel Infra has undertaken a massive project that it seems will largely benefit not just the state of Uttar Pradesh but the Indian EV market.