Mumbai: Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd has matched the bid made by Tata Motors Ltd for supplying electric vehicles (EVs) to the state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), winning 30% of the marque order.

Mahindra will supply 150 of the 500 EVs to be delivered in the first phase, by 30 November. The time-frame for the second phase has not yet been announced.

“The purchase orders for supply of 9,500 electric vehicles in phase II will be issued on completion of phase I deliveries," EESL said in a statement. “Both qualified parties, Tata Motors and Mahindra, will have the opportunity to supply their respective number of vehicles, as per the terms of the tender and Mahindra matching the lowest bid pricing for phase II."

Tata Motors had won the government contract for supplying 10,000 electric cars, outbidding Mahindra and Mahindra in the contest for the Rs1,120 crore order, the largest such procurement anywhere in the world, Mint reported on 30 September.

Tata Motors quoted the lowest price of Rs10.16 lakh exclusive of the goods and services tax in the bidding. The vehicle will be provided to EESL for Rs11.2 lakh, which will be inclusive of GST and a comprehensive 5-year warranty, which is 25% below the current retail price of a similar e-car with three-year warranty, according to EESL

The tender is part of the government’s agenda for a universal shift to EVs by 2030.

“The electric vehicles procured under the current tender will be used to replace petrol and diesel cars currently used by the central government and its agencies over a 3 to 4-year period," the statement said.

At the auto industry’s annual conference in early September, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari prompted automobile manufacturers to switch to producing vehicles that run on alternative fuels or risk being overtaken by inevitable policy change. Auto makers have to move to vehicles that run on electricity, biodiesel, ethanol and compressed natural gas “whether they like it or not", he said.

So far, Mahindra, the only electric vehicle maker in India, has been at the forefront of the government’s electric mobility mission.

In its electric vehicles line, the company has so far launched a hatchback, the e20, a sedan, the eVERITO, and a three-wheeler, e-Alfa Mini.

In May, a top executive said there were further plans to focus on mass urban mobility solutions with the launch of a 32-seater bus in the next 18 months, Mint reported on 24 May.

A Mahindra spokesperson wasn’t available for comment.

Experts say the tender augurs well for the company. “This move will bolster their EV credentials which are already strong because such government tenders are usually events that set off a chain reaction, so the company is likely to see an expansion in its EV arm," said Anil Sharma, principal analyst at IHS Automotive, a forecasting firm.

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