Kumar said the decision to seek bigger sedans was not based on any feedback or suggestion from the government departments that were using the Tigor/Verito.
“I do not know whether bigger electric cars are being made in India. But they can certainly be made like Tata was able to make the e-Tigor. This opens up the market for other players. Competition goes up,” said Kumar. EESL hopes it can start serving some corporate clients as well if it gets a better variety of e-cars.
EESL procures these cars and offers them on lease to users. Officials in the ministry of power, members of the finance commission, and officials of power sector companies
such as the NTPC and others are using the e-Tigor and e-Verito. “It is peak summer Delhi. There is no complaint about the functionality of the car. Certain departments have reneged their old contracts and electric car is the only vehicle available,” he added.
Besides servicing demands from the central government, EESL has also signed agreements to cater e-cars to states like Andhra Pradesh (10,000 e-cars). It is in the process of inking similar arrangement for 8,000 e-cars with Gujarat and 2,000 e-cars with Maharashtra.
Manufacturers can bid for smaller electric sedans as well as the bigger ones in the current tender. EESL will go ahead with the tender even if it is able to get bids for supply of only smaller sedans. The earlier date for making the online bids has been extended to May 25. Kumar said the department of heavy industry was bringing some specifications for setting up of different kinds of charging stations that would allow quick charging of premium electric cars.
A price of Rs 1.016 million was quoted by Tata Motors for e-Tigor in the first tender and M&M had to lower the price of e-Verito to qualify for the orders. The prices in the next tender could be even lower.
However, if EESL receives bids for the premium electric cars, their prices will be significantly higher.