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Late last month, when Tata Power Company announced its financials for the three months ended September, it revealed a key milestone.

It had nothing to do with the company’s mainstay—thermal power generation and electricity distribution—or even its renewables business. Instead, it had to do with its fledgling electric vehicle (EV) charging venture. In that quarter, the company had crossed 1,000 public charging points (PCPs) across 180 cities.

Within four years of diversifying into charging, Tata Power has consolidated its position at the top of the sector, accounting for over 50% of PCPs in the country. Even in the home charging and fleet charging verticals, Tata Power’s market share is at ~40%, according to an August report by the brokerage Edelweiss Securities.

Tata Power is central to the EV ecosystem ambitions of the 153-year-old conglomerate Tata Group. While Tata Motors rolls out EVs, Tata Chemicals makes lithium-ion cells, and Tata AutoComp assembles battery packs, Tata Power has been tasked with beefing up the charging infrastructure. Without this, all the other puzzle pieces don’t quite come together. But as much as the Tata Group needs Tata Power, it works the other way, too.

Tata Power is the exclusive charging partner to Tata Motors, which accounted for over 70% of India’s electric car sales in the three months ended September. In October, Tata Motors raised  $1 billion $1 billion Tata Motors Tata Motors to raise $1 BN in its Passenger Electric Vehicle business Read more from TPG Rise Climate—the first climate fund of the global private equity major—and Abu Dhabi’s state holding company ADQ for its newly formed EV subsidiary. The deal values the unit at $9.1 billion.

“Even if Tata Power sets up one charging station at every Tata Motors dealership and service centre, it’s huge. That has a network effect,” says a senior executive with a rival charge point operator. They requested anonymity since they did not want to be seen talking about a competitor. Tata Power can also tap Tata Group-owned retail outlets, including Westside (apparel) and Croma (electronics), besides its Taj and Ginger hotel chains.

Tata Power is targeting  10,000 10,000 The Economic Times Tata Power plans big, aims for 10,000 charging stations in 5 years Read more PCPs in five years. Its partnerships with fuel retailers such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), besides Tata Motors and other automakers such as MG Motor India and TVS Motor Company, will play a key role in reaching that milestone. Tata Power’s other ambitious goal is to have 100,000 installed chargers—including PCPs and home and fleet chargers—by March 2026. That’s a 15X jump from its current charger count of over 6,500.

AUTHOR

Seetharaman G

Starting out as a business journalist in 2008, Seetharaman has written about energy, climate change, retail, banking, and technology. He has worked with Business Today, a fortnightly, and the Sunday edition of The Economic Times.

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