New Delhi: Power and new and renewable energy minister R.K. Singh on Wednesday said that the state-run Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL) will float another tender for 10,000 electric cars on Thursday.

Besides, the minister announced on bringing out the policy for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the next 15-20 days at the launch of National E-Mobility Programme in India in New Delhi on Wednesday. The policy will provide that charging e-vehicles would be a service and not sale of electricity.

Thus all those setting up charging stations would not require a licence. Earlier in August last year, the EESL had floated a tender for procuring 10,000 electric cars for which Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra qualified the bids under the auction.

As of now, both players have supplied around 500 electric cars to the EESL which would be offered on lease to government departments and ministries with or without drivers. The minister said that the policy for electric vehicle charging infrastructure should be a reality in the next 15-20 days because its draft is finalised by the Central Electricity Authority and power ministry agrees on that in-principle.

He also told reporters that the policy would provide norms for bidding, installation and power sale price of charging stations among others. A senior official said that it is provided in the policy that the price of power for charging electric vehicles would be actual cost of power (ACP) in the state plus 15% of ACP, so that it remains economical.

With these 20,000 electric cars, India is expected to save over 5 crore litres of fuel every year leading to a reduction of over 5.6 lakh tonnes of annual CO2 emission. On this occasion, EESL managing director Saurabh Kumar said that at present, the firm has a demand of 500 electric vehicles in Delhi and laid out charging infrastructure at 150 locations.

He also told that it has inked an agreement with Andhra Pradesh to supply 10,000 electric cars from May onwards and another agreement will be inked with Gujarat to supply 8,000 e-cars next week. Besides, Indian Railways has requisitioned for 1,000 e-cars.

The objective of the National E-Mobility Programme is to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, service providers, etc. The EESL will aggregate demand by procuring electric vehicles in bulk to get economies of scale. These electric vehicles will replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Announcing yet another milestone, Singh said, “Under Street Light National Programme (SLNP), the EESL has replaced 50 lakh conventional street lights across the country with energy-efficient LED lights. This is the largest installation anywhere in the world illuminating around 84 thousand kilometers of roads, with no upfront investment required from municipal bodies. This has led to energy saving of 135 crore kWh and cost saving of 742 crore every year".

The procurement price of the LED street lights has been reduced from Rs135/watt to Rs70/watt due to mass procurement of the lights by EESL, hence making the LED lights affordable and accessible. The EESL makes the entire upfront investment in retrofitting of the street lights and up to 10% of infrastructure development charges and then municipalities pay EESL from the savings in energy and maintenance cost over a 7-year period.