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Our Correspondent

In a bid to promote electric mobility in the country, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. has successfully conducted a “Proof of Concept” feasibility study on “Zero-Emission Electric Mobility” at one of itsfuel stations in Bengaluru.

Zero-Emission Electric Mobility is a concept that allows the electric vehicle (EV) to charge using solar power thereby ensuring zero emissions. The EV charging system has been designed by M/s. Hygge Energy, a start-up incubated by Tech Mahindra, and has three main features – EVs are charged using solar power, no upgrades are required in grid infrastructure, and grid resilience is improved by the system’s architecture, especially in remote areas.

Speaking on this novel breakthrough, Mr. Vigyan Kumar, Executive Director (Retail Sales), IndianOil, said, “As part of IndianOil’s foray into alternative energy, we have already set up 54 battery charging / swapping stations for electric vehicles in partnership with various companies. We have also taken a minority stake in Phinergy ofIsrael to set up Aluminium-Air battery manufacturing facility in India for electric vehicles & stationary applications. Given the challenges of grid capacity and reliability amid the uncertainty of EV adoption, we are committed to finding an integrated solution to ensure green power for EV charging at our fuel stations. This innovative solution developed by Hygge Energy, has demonstrated feasibility to address these issues. We will conduct pilot studies at more fuel stations across Bangalore. This solution is unique as it leverages the existing investment made by us in solarising our fuel stations and gives us a good basis to roll-out our EV charging initiative”, he added.

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The technology enables intelligent electric-vehicle charging using “hybrid microgrids”. Hybrid microgrids are created by integrating existing grid infrastructure with solar PV batteries. Zero Emission Electric Mobility is a highly adaptable system that employs artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) to ensure that charging requirements are primarily met with renewable energy from these hybrid microgrids, thereby providing 100% clean energy e-mobility. This also prevents additional load which electric vehicle supply equipment would exert on power distribution transformers that feed fuel stations. As a result, clean energy e-mobility can be accommodated without the need for additional investments in grid infrastructure.

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A hallmark of IndianOil’s clean energy agenda is its renewable energy portfolio of 226 MW (168 MW of wind-power capacity and 58 MW of solar photo-voltaic capacity). Together, they generated 393 million units of electricity during 2019-20, equivalent to emission mitigation of 322 TMT of carbon dioxide (TMTCO2e) and 5% of the Company’s electricity consumption.

Besides a target to scale up its solar energy and wind-power portfolio, IndianOil has initiated diversification into alternative, renewable energy and bio-fuels – 2G & 3G ethanol, waste-to-energy and compressed bio-gas (CBG). Nearly 16,700 (over 55%) IndianOil fuel stations have already been converted to operate on solar energy with a cumulative installed capacity of over 92 MW.

During 2019-20, IndianOil took a significant step in promoting use of bio-fuels in the country with commencement of sale of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) under the SATAT scheme (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) that was launched in October 2018. IndianOil is selling CBG, under the brand name IndiGreen, in Pune and Kolhapur. IndianOil has also issued Letters of intent (LoIs) to entrepreneurs to set up 295 CNG plants across the country to produce 0.6 MMTPA CNG under this scheme.

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IndianOil is in the process of setting up a 2G-ethanol production plant of 100 kl per day capacity at Panipat (based on lignocellulosic conversion of agricultural residue) with paddy straw as feedstock. A bio-fuels complex with a CBG production plant for conversion of 200 tonnes per day of bio-waste is also coming up near Gorakhpur.

IndianOil is also working on converting used cooking oil (UCO) to bio-diesel, for which, LOIs have been issued to entrepreneurs for setting up seven plants with an annual cumulative capacity of 12.16 crore litres of bio-diesel from UCO.