The Finnish CPO Fortum Charge & Drive is stepping up in India. The company unveiled a new brand identity geared towards the subcontinent.
Glida targets setting up 3,000 charge points across India by 2025 and already has a presence in 15 states.
The rebranding means Glida will replace Fortum Charge & Drive India but remain connected to the roots.
The Finnish government still backs the company, for example, and currently has 450 charging points offering CCS, DC001 and Type 2 plugs.
However, the network is concentrated in urban hot spots.
“Most of our charging points are in Delhi (170), National Capital Region (100) and Hyderabad (80),” said Executive Director Awadesh Kumar Jha in an interview with the Business Standard.
Looking at the numbers, 90 per cent of Glida’s charging stations are based in cities, but the company wants to change that. “We plan to make this city-to-highway ratio 50:50 by 2030,” said Jha.
So far, EV drivers can find Fortum/Gilda charging stations on the Delhi-Dehradun, Delhi-Jaipur, or Delhi-Chandigarh highways. Jha also mentioned an ongoing application for chargers at the Bengaluru-Hyderabad highway when speaking to the Business Standard.
“Once we get those permissions, the charging points will be set up,” he said, adding that this highway currently has one charging station with two charging points.
The company has a history in Hyderabad since Fortum claims it installed India’s first EV charging point there in 2018 in association with Indian Oil Corporation LTD. (IOCL). The Finns came to India in 2017 and have used the time to adapt their offer to the market.
When asked about the economies of running charging stations in India, Jha said that the current ecosystem is self-sustainable without much government support.
He added, “We are very clear in our mind that expanding charging infrastructure should precede growth in EV sales.”
Or go hand in hand. The company started installing 50 kW chargers in the country after striking a partnership with MG Motor in 2019, shortly after the launch of MG ZS EV.
Moreover, Glida’s offers are flexible.
Called ‘Charge-Thru’, EV drivers do not need an app but visit a website or scan the QR code on the charger to charge their EVs at any of the company’s networked stations.
At the start of this year, Fortum also introduced the RuPay Prepaid Card in collaboration with Pine Labs. The card enables prepaid charging sessions at Fortum/Glida charging stations anywhere in India.
Besides the large-scale expansion announced in parallel with today’s name change, Glida is also working on establishing “drive-in” charging hubs at public sites such as malls or parks.
The company currently operates six such charging hubs in India and intends to add a dozen more by the end of this year.
As an interim goal towards the 3,000 charging points by March 2025, Glida targets to increase the number to 1,000 by the end of the current fiscal year.
Fortum Charge & Drive is also an active CPO in Europe. The name change seems to affect only the Indian subsidiary.