The Indian government is reportedly planning to procure luxury electric cars to further lease them out to cab aggregators in an extended push to enhance electric mobility in public transport.
Indian business daily Economic Times has reported that government-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) plans to float a tender to acquire 250 electric cars in the luxury segment. These cars shall then be leased out to cab aggregators like Uber, its Indian-competitor Ola Cabs, and an EV-focused aggregator Blu Smart.
The tender, expected to be launched early next year, will be dominated by foreign car markers. Not Indian company currently manufactures electric cars in the luxury segment. The only luxury segment electric car available in India right now is the Hyundai Kona.
Hyundai could see competition from MG Motors, which is expected to launch its ZS compact electric SUV next year.
The news of the tender comes just weeks after EESL reportedly started procurement of the electric Kona. The move came after several government agencies expressed dissatisfaction with the compact electric sedans that EESL had earlier procured through another tender.
EESL placed orders for 500 electric sedans from Indian companies Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors. While EESL stated a requirement of 250 kilometers of range per charge, neither of the companies were reportedly able to meet that demand. Mahindra & Mahindra supplied its eVerito, while Tata Motors delivered the Tigor.
Kona was launched in India earlier this year at a hefty price of around US$35,000, more than twice the retail price of the Tata Tigor. Kona offers a range of around 450 kilometers per charge and a much wider company-backed network of fast-charging stations.
Kona had an impressive sales record and was sold out for the entire calendar year by September.
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