Plug Mobility, Fortum Charge & Drive to set up 3,200 charging stations in 79 cities

The charging stations so set up shall be used by both Carzonrent fleet as well as general public and other fleet operators.

(L-R) Awadhesh Jha, Executive Director, Fortum Charge & Drive India, and Rajiv Kumar Vij, MD, Carzonrent India

Plug Mobility, a Carzonrent India Private Limited initiative into Electric Vehicle Mobility as a Service, has partnered with Fortum Charge & Drive India Pvt Ltd (Fortum C&D), a Nordic Electric Vehicle (EV) charging service provider, to provide charging infrastructure for Carzonrent fleet of 19,000 cars to be inducted over the next five years across India. Fortum C&D will set up 3,200 charging points for Plug Mobility during this period to support energy requirement of the fleet.

As part of the agreement, a total of 3,200 DC001 and CCS Charging Point chargers will be deployed in 79 cities and towns across India. The charging infrastructure will be used for Carzonrent’s recently launched EV fleet brand “Plug” and it will also be available for the general public to charge their electric cars. Fortum C&D will set up and operate the charging points at its own cost and will install the charging stations gradually. The capacity of the deployed chargers will be over 100,000 kw.

To know more, we got in touch with Rajiv K Vij, Founder, Plug Mobility, and Awadhesh Jha, Executive Director, Fortum Charge & Drive India Pvt Ltd.

Will Plug Mobility and Fortum collaboratively be installing EV charging stations across various locations in India? What are the plans for expansion?

This is a collaborative partnership to transition the mobility from ICE to electric. While Carzonrent shall deploy the electric vehicles, Fortum Charge & Drive India shall create the requisite charging infrastructure to provide needed energy to drive the EVs.

Fortum will set up 3200 charging points for Plug Mobility during this period to support energy requirement of the fleet in Carzonrent hubs, parking locations in different parts of each city, client premises, Corporate/ IT Parks/ Campuses, airports and inter-city routes. Out of the 3200 charging plants, Fortum will set up 140 charging points in the next 6 months during which period Carzonrent will induct about 1000 cars in its fleet.

The initial fleet induction and charge point set up will take place in major cities- Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. The 3200 DC001 and CCS Charge Point will be deployed in 79 cities and towns across India including tier-2 and tier-3 cities where Carzonrent has its operations.

Will these stations be limited to certain premises or is public charging infrastructure also something you’re looking at?

The uniqueness of this partnership lies here. The charging stations so set up shall be used by both Carzonrent fleet as well as general public and other fleet operators.

What will the partnership between Plug and Fortum entail beyond charging infra?

The partnership is aimed to effect the transition from carbon emitting ICE vehicles to cleaner EVs. The partnership is not about charging infra or EV only as both are complimentary to each other. It is much beyond that. This partnership will create an ecosystem for both EV and Charging infra. This partnership will give enough confidence to EV OEM to bring out more products, to customers the visibility of charging stations that will give them confidence of buying EVs and thus removing the chicken and egg narrative. Beyond charging infrastructure, the partnership between Plug Mobility and Fortum will massively reduce the carbon footprint of thousands of Indians as the stations begin to roll out.

Carzonrent has built significant strengths in terms of large corporate, hospitality, Airlines, Government, PSU, Airport operators and SME customer base, proprietary technology stack, Driver partner network, and service network spread over 79 cities across India over the last 20 years. Carzonrent intends to lead the commercial car industry transition towards EV fleets and its partnership with Fortum will result in significant adoption of EV’s by the entire industry.

Plug Mobility is currently servicing corporates, government departments, airport taxis, and so on. What are your thoughts on EV subscriptions for the walk-ins from the public?

Carzonrent has promoted Myles as an Automotive Subscription focused brand offering Alternate Automotive Ownership Option to Indian buyers. Myles has partnered with MG Motors, Maruti Suzuki, and Toyota and offers hassle free and flexible Subscription options for new and used car buyers. Subscription as a concept is receiving strong interest from individual EV car buyers as it makes immense sense for EV buyers to opt for Subscription instead of Loan/Lease options. Myles has built significant EV Subscription portfolio and intends to continue to focus on EV’s going forward also.

Do you think the subscription model can help promote the use of EVs in India?

Subscription will be a preferred option for private and corporate EV buyers in India because it offers strong benefits in terms of monthly cost, zero hassles services, transparency in charges and flexibility in tenures besides offering new and pre-owned vehicles at different price points as per subscriber’s budget/requirement. Myles, as a Subscription focused brand promoted by Carzonrent will continue to focus on offering attractive values propositions for EV customers to drive the adoption of EV’s in India.

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