- Tata Nexon procured at Rs 14.86 lakh, Hyundai Kona for Rs 21.36 lakh
- The prices are lower than the market price by 8.7% for Nexon, 11% for Kona
- Plan to buy 750 cars for the taxi industry put off due to lack of demand amid pandemic
- EESL procured less than 2,000 units against 10,000-unit planned 3 years ago due to low demand
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) which is spearheading India's foray into electric vehicles has bought a tranche of 250 new electric cars for use in the government.
The firm wanted to buy 1,000 cars in total but put off procurement of 750 of them to be used by cabs due to lack of demand in that sector. Three years ago, EESL had floated a mega 10,000-unit tender for e-vehicles, which could not materialise due to lack of demand. It ended up buying less than 2,000 of them in that case.
This time, the firm which seeks to bring down prices of vehicles by bulk procurement, has opted for the Nexon electric SUV by Tata and Kona SUV by Hyundai, which are more expensive but offer better performance and range. It is buying 150 Nexon at Rs 14.86 lakh each, Rs 13,000 lower than its market price and Rs 21.36 lakh for the Kona, Rs 2.63 lakh lower than its market price.
The procurement utilises $5 million from the recent grant provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to EESL. It had received the financing towards the cost of scaling up and financing high priority areas like demand side energy efficiency sector projects.
"A shift to EVs, facilitated by our e-mobility programme will reduce dependence on oil imports and promote power capacity addition in India. This will greatly enhance the energy security of the country and will also lead to reduction in GHG emissions from the transport sector," said Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairperson, EESL. "Furthermore, we're also working on rapid establishment of EV charging stations, which will give a fillip to the electric vehicle sales, going forward."
The e-Tigor from Tata Motors and e-Verito from Mahindra that EESL had procured in the first tender of 2017 had an 18 kilowatt hour battery with a claim of 130 kilometers on a full charge. They were bought for around Rs 11.5 lakh. There were reports, however, that government officials who used those cars were not satisfied by the performance and in real life conditions the range was much lower at just 80-85 kilometers. The electric Nexon being procured this time has a bigger 30.2 kilowatt hour battery with an ARAI certified range of 312 kilometers while the Kona has an even bigger 39.2 kwh battery and range of 452 kilometers.
"It is our privilege to align with the government's goal for clean energy and collaborate with all stakeholders to create a sustainable ecosystem for electric mobility," said Seon Seob Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India. "Hyundai will continue to bring world class eco-friendly products and technologies for Indian market contributing towards the cleaner and greener environment."
"Electric mobility is gaining ground in the country and partnerships such as these are pivotal for building the requisite momentum. We have been partnering EESL and are pleased to provide more EVs to them for government use, enabling a smooth and sustainable transition to a future-oriented mobility solution," added Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors. "As the leader of the fast growing EV segment, Tata Motors is committed to popularise their access and use across India."
EESL said the electric vehicles will replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles of the Central and state governments. It said it has already received an order for 300 Long Range EVs from The Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), Kerala to be supplied in initial phase.