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Panasonic makes first foray toward Indian EV charger network

New Delhi trial started with local power provider

Scooters will likely make up a substantial part of India's fleet of electric vehicles.   ¬© Reuters

OSAKA -- Panasonic has begun test operation of an electric-vehicle charging station in India, seeking to tap growing demand amid a government push to popularize the environmentally friendly autos.

The electronics maker has collaborated with local utility BSES Yamuna Power and set up a station in New Delhi last month. The site boasts Panasonic chargers and is compliant with Indian standards. The Japanese company will decide whether to fully launch charging infrastructure after seeing how the trial goes. It will consider offering a smartphone app that tells the driver about remaining battery charge and the locations of nearby stations.

The Indian government aims to have electrics account for 30% of new sales. Betting that motorcycles and auto rickshaws will go electric soon, Panasonic is in talks with their manufacturers on charger supply deals. A subscription service incorporating the app is under consideration as well. The company will also eye tie-ups with well-funded public energy companies.

Panasonic leads the Indian market for electrical outlets and circuit breakers, with a roughly 35% share. It seeks to double electrical equipment sales there to 100 billion yen ($895 million) between fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2021.

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