EESL to float tender for 10,000 additional electric vehicles
New Delhi: In what comes as another boost for India’s electric vehicle programme, state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has said it will float another tender of around 10,000 electric vehicles during March-April, much before it expects to complete the current bidding process in June.
“We will come up with another tender for similar number of electric vehicles. Basic specifications for those electric vehicles will remain the same,” Saurabh Kumar, managing director, EESL, said at a press meet on Wednesday.
EESL gave out a similar contract in September to Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, kicking off India’s electric vehicle procurement programme.
These vehicles will be used to replace petrol and diesel cars used by the government and its agencies, which have around half-a-million cars, of which about a third are leased.
Kumar said EESL expects to earn a profit of Rs250 crore on revenue of Rs3,500 crore in the current fiscal year.
The government contracts may be too small for any company’s sales growth but the frenetic action around them seem to have kick-started electric mobility in the country.
Mahindra lost out to rival Tata Motors Ltd in a government contract for 500 electric vehicles but later said it would match the lowest bid of Rs10.16 lakh per vehicle made by Tata Motors as it wanted to be part of the government’s electric mobility mission.
Its own bid was higher by Rs2.3 lakh per vehicle. Mahindra will lose about Rs3 crore on the 150 electric sedans that it will supply to the government, it said after a majority of the tender went to Tata Motors.
While not much is known about Tata’s electric sedan—Tigor, Mahindra is ready to deliver the first lot of vehicles in the EESL tender in a few days.
Currently, electric vehicle sales are low in India, rising 37.5% to 22,000 units in the year ended 31 March 2016 from 16,000 in 2014-15. Only 2,000 of these were cars and other four-wheelers, according to automobile lobby group Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).
The government wants to see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on Indian roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.
“This is certainly a welcome move as far as electro-mobility is concerned. But, we would wait for the charging infrastructure ecosystem to come up before moving into that direction,” said Shekar Viswanathan, vice-chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd.
Any shift to electric vehicles will help reduce pollution and fuel imports. This assumes significance given India’s energy import bill of around $150 billion, which is expected to reach $300 billion by 2030. India imports around 80% of its oil and 18% of its natural gas requirements. India imported 202 million tonnes of oil in 2015-16.