Vakrangee to Build Convenient EV Charging Stations in India


Vakrangee will set up electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure facilities across India through its Nextgen Vakrangee Kendra outlets. Vakrangee has 3,504 Nextgen Vakrangee Kendra outlets spread across 19 states, with 68% outlets in Tier 5 and Tier 6 cities {Tier-5-(5,000 to 9,999), Tier-6-less than 5000 population respectively}.

Vakrangee plans to increase the number of Nextgen Vakrangee Kendra outlets to 75,000 by FY2021-22 and 3,00,000 outlets by FY2024-25.

Vakrangee is into the business of providing last-mile retail outlets to deliver real-time banking and financial services, ATM, insurance, e-governance, e-commerce and logistics services to the unserved rural, semi-urban and urban markets. The assisted digital convenience stores are called “Vakrangee Kendra” which acts as the “one-stop-shop” for availing various services and products.

“Vakrangee plans to leverage this deep presence by being an enabler for the EV charging facility through its network of retail outlets called Vakrangee Kendra. We continue to focus on expanding the bouquet of services available at our Nextgen Vakrangee Kendras,” the company said in a statement.

“For all operators who want to set up electric vehicle services in India, It will make sense for them to leverage our charging infrastructure rather than building one of their own. We are building a large charging footprint on a pan-India basis through our network of Nextgen Vakrangee Kendra outlets,” the company added.

Since 2016, firstly with The Paris Agreement on dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance and G7’s declaration of plans for “decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century”, there has since been a definitive move to embrace electric vehicles (EVs) globally.

Specifically for India, Climate Change concerns, an alarming level of air pollution across tier-1 cities and lastly, the heavy oil imports bill, have created an urgent need for a climate and cost-friendly transport solution.

The government initiated with the implementation of the FAME Scheme Phase-I [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India] in 2015, to steer the industry’s attention toward creating an ample infrastructure required.

The scheme attempted to incentivise the market and its customers by the reduction in the prices of the EVs and had four focus areas – technology development, demand creation, pilot projects and charging infrastructure.

NITI Aayog’s Electronic Vehicle Policy (May 2017) states that India aims to phase out fossil-fuel-based auto-rickshaws by 2023, scooters and motorcycles (150cc) by 2025 and, by 2030 achieve at least 40% electrification in private transport.

However, the results so far aren’t very inspiring; India has only over 350 public EV chargers, compared with around 57,000 petrol pumps. In comparison, China at the end of 2016 had over 200,000 charging modules.

NITI Aayog’s CEO recently professed that India must take the lead in the production and consumption of EVs and not become another importing nation. In this backdrop, Phase–II of the FAME scheme was launched from April 1, 2019, with an outlay of INR 10K Cr for the next three years, so as to encourage faster adoption of e-vehicles by offering upfront incentive on purchase of e-vehicles (by way of reducing market price) and creating charging infrastructure for EVs.

-Aditya Patil

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