The Indian government has issued a fresh tender to procure 1,000 electric cars. This is the first such tender in nearly two years.
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is looking to acquire 1,000 electric cars with range of at least 180 kilometers per charge. The company, which issued its first such tender in 2017, is currently on track to receive a total of 2,000 electric cars from Indian manufacturers. Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have so far delivered 1,500 compact electric sedans with the balance of 500 cars expected to be delivered soon.
Manufacturers bidding in the new tender will be required to provide six years of warranty and an additional six years of servicing.
EESL was initially expected to procure as much as 10,000 electric cars for deployment at various government agencies. It had aggregated demand from the central government as well as various state governments, with a majority of demand coming from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. However, following a change in government, demand from the state is no longer available. EESL has thus moved on to private companies for deployment of electric cars.
The 1,000 electric cars to be procured under the latest tender shall be deployed by fleet operators and cab aggregators.
This latest tender could not have come at a better time for EESL as well as manufacturers. A number of Indian and foreign manufacturers showcased electric cars at the recently concluded Auto Expo India 2020. Among those likely to participant, or eligible to participate based on the range requirement, include Tata Motors with its updated models of Nexon EV compact SUV, Hyundai Kona, ZS by MG Motors, and XUV 300 EV by Mahindra & Mahindra.
We have covered in the past the dissatisfaction expressed by EESL regarding the performance of compact electric sedans delivered by Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra. EESL is believed to have procured some Hyundai Kona models outside the tender process.
India’s car market is at a crucial juncture with the industry awaiting any signs of green shots in demand. Growth in the auto sector has dropped to multi-year low. In such a gloomy growth scenario expecting automakers to invest in an expensive technology like electric mobility is unreasonable especially when EVs have a negligible share in the Indian market.
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