OREANDA-NEWS. India's biggest oil refiner state-controlled IOC has opened the country's first charging station for electric vehicles (EVs), kickstarting the government's ambitious policy to phase out gasoline and diesel cars by 2030.

IOC opened the charging station at one its retail fuel outlets at Nagpur in western India yesterday, in partnership with private-sector taxi service Ola.

IOC is also planning to expand into the EV battery sector by manufacturing and selling lithium-ion batteries, and plans to use its retail network to popularise EV charging stations and the use of LNG as a motor fuel. IOC operates 26,429 retail fuel outlets, 44pc of the country's total, and has 1.6mn b/d of refining capacity.

India plans a massive roll-out of electric vehicles in the next three years, as it aims to phase out gasoline and diesel cars by 2030. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 envisages that around 6mn-7mn hybrid or pure EVs will be running on the country's streets by 2020. India started trials in May to test the popularity and effectiveness of an all-electric fleet in Nagpur, the first step towards introducing a national version by 2030. The service was launched by Ola, automakers Mahindra and Kinetic Engineering and the federal government.