MG Motors that made its debut in India only last week with the launch of its mid-sized SUV Hector, on Tuesday announced its tie-up with Finland-based energy major Fortum Energy to install country's first 50 KW fast charging stations. MG plans to launch its first electric SUV eZS later this year and the partnership with Fortum is to prepare the foundation for its electric plans.
Under the partnership, Fortum will install 50 KW CCS/CHAdeMO Direct Current fast Public Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles across MG's showrooms in 5 cities including Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad by September this year to begin with. One such charging station will come up at MG's state-of-the-art flagship showroom in Gurugram. Smart chargers can be accessed by an EV user, having cars compatible with CCS/CHAdeMO charging standards by registering with Fortum Charge & Drive India through its Mobile App.
MG is a subsidiary of SAIC, China's largest automobile manufacturer by volume. China is incidentally also world's largest electric vehicle market with 1.3 millon electric cars being sold in 2018. SAIC is among the top 10 global electric car manufacturers producing and selling nearly 100,000 electric and hybrid cars in 2018. It also has a joint venture with the world's leading battery manufacturing facility in Changzhou where it holds a 49 per cent stake.
"The upcoming launch of MG eZS is aligned with the government's long-term objective to have more electric vehicles on the road in the next few years. We are delighted to be partnering with one of the leading EV charging service providers in the global EV space to set up charging stations at MG dealerships in select cities to begin with," said Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India. "This is in line with our goal to provide accessible EVs to India customers and create an EV ecosystem in India."
"We have already witnessed an uptick in adoption of electric vehicles in the last one year. This collaboration will further bolster this growth," added Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India. "As one of the key players, we are constantly evaluating the Indian market for charging infrastructure and will continue to give a pleasant charging experience to EV users."
India has embarked on an ambitious plan to encourage use of electric vehicles in the country in its bid to curb air pollution as well as reduce its import bill on oil. Nearly 84 per cent of the country's oil consumption is imported while India also accounts for 16 of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world. However, the government is yet to come up with a clear policy that spells out incentives for electric vehicles and charging stations in the country. Currently, there are only 341 charging stations in the country -- 209 AC slow chargers and 132 DC fast chargers. Most of them are concentrated in the Delhi-NCR region.