New Delhi: A joint venture of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and energy supermajor BP has opened one of the country’s largest EV charging hubs in Delhi, as the duo scale up the fuel retail network, offering multiple fuel choices including EV charging infrastructure.
Reliance BP Mobility Limited, operating under the brand name Jio-bp, is working with multiple demand aggregators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology partners with a vision of being the leading EV charging infrastructure player in India, RIL had said in its third quarter earnings announcement last week.
”Jio-bp has constructed and launched one of the country’s largest EV charging hubs in Dwarka, Delhi with BluSmart as its primary customer,” it had said.
RBML had launched its first Jio-bp branded Mobility Station at Navde, Navi Mumbai in October last year. And since then it has been scaling up the network.
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In 2019, BP had bought a 49 per cent stake in over 1,400 petrol pumps and 31 aviation turbine fuel (ATF) stations owned by Reliance for USD 1 billion. The existing petrol pumps of Reliance had since been transferred to the joint venture, which plans to scale them up to 5,500 by 2025.
Reliance holds the remaining 51 per cent stake in Reliance BP Mobility Limited (RBML). RBML has already received the marketing authorisation for transportation fuels.
Petrol pumps with RBML have since increased to 1,448, according to latest information available from the petroleum ministry. RBML had 1,427 outlets at the end of September 2021.
India’s auto fuel retailing is dominated by public sector oil companies that own the majority of 81,099 petrol pumps in the country. Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy is the largest private fuel retailer with 6,496 pumps. Shell has 310 petrol pumps.
Jio-bp is looking to set up a network of EV charging stations and battery swap stations, at its petrol pumps, which the firms refer to as ‘Mobility Stations’, and other standalone locations – Mobility Points. The joint venture aims to become a leading EV charging infrastructure player in India.
State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is the largest fuel retailer with 33,546 petrol pumps. Privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has 19,668 outlets and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has 19,602 petrol pumps.
”The existing network of over 1,400 fuel pumps will be rebranded as Jio-bp, presenting a new range of customer value propositions over the coming months,” Reliance-bp had said in October last year when they launched the first Jio-bp outlet.
India’s market for fuels and mobility is rapidly growing. It is expected to be the fastest-growing fuels market in the world over the next 20 years.
”Jio-bp Mobility Stations are designed to help meet this growing demand and are ideally located to suit customer convenience. They bring together a range of services for consumers on the move – including additivised fuels, EV charging, refreshments & food, and plan to offer more low carbon solutions over time,” it had said.
The joint venture plans to leverage Reliance’s vast presence and deep experience in consumer businesses across India, with its hundreds of millions of customers in Jio and Reliance Retail, and bp’s extensive global experience in high-quality differentiated fuels, lubricants, convenience and advanced low carbon mobility solutions.
”Instead of regular fuels, Jio-bp Mobility Stations across the country will offer additivised fuel, at no extra cost. The fuel offering will contain internationally developed ‘ACTIVE’ technology, which forms a protective layer on critical engine parts to help keep the engines clean,” the statement had said.