Home >Politics >Policy >Transport ministry sweetens bid conditions for hiring electric cars

New Delhi: After its earlier plans to lead by example for promoting electric vehicles (EVs) turned a cropper, Nitin Gadkari-led ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) has sweetened the bid conditions for hiring electric cars for use by its officials.

In a 10 April tender put up on its website, the ministry has invited online bids for hiring electric cars for the use of its officials for one year which “may be extended for a period of further one year". Also, any extension will see a 5% increase in rates for the vehicles, which should be able to run at least 100 km at a stretch.

This marks a departure from its earlier tender last year, which had called for a one-year lease and stipulated that vehicles should be able to run at least 150km at a stretch.

This comes in the backdrop of India exploring a plan wherein the Union government, various government agencies and state-owned firms will lease only EVs to expedite their adoption, reported

To start with, the ministry estimates its “normal requirement" to be of around five EVs daily, with the last date of submission of bids being 3 May.

“The awardees should be able to send cars at MoRTH within 12 hours from the date/time of order. Those who fail to do so will forfeit their EMD (earnest money deposit), forego the right to bills pending payment, besides cancellation of the order. The ministry also reserves the right to increase or decrease the number of cars to be hired by the ministry on any particular day and month without any prior notice during the tender period," the tender states.

The National Democratic Alliance government plans for a mass-scale shift to EVs by 2030, so that all vehicles on Indian roads by then—both personal and commercial—are powered by electricity.

This has resulted in interest from automobile manufacturers who are firming up their India EV plans. Suzuki Motor Corp., parent of India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said on Friday that it will form a joint venture with two Japanese firms, Denso Corp. and Toshiba Corp., to produce lithium-ion batteries for EVs in India. The company will be established this year and will start production soon thereafter with an initial capital expenditure of ¥20 billion Japanese (around $184 million).

Any shift to EVs will help reduce pollution and energy imports. India’s energy import bill is expected to double from around $150 billion to $300 billion by 2030. The government has set an ambitious target of selling six million EVs by 2020.

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