The company is banking on a lower goods and services tax (GST) rate for electric vehicles (12 per cent) and the Centre's FAME Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) to push sales.
Besides buses, the company is also ready to launch electric small commercial vehicles meant for intra-city public transport. “We believe electric vehicles will get introduced in areas where routes are defined and the use is more intra-city. We have showcased electric versions of smaller vehicles and have been working aggressively,” said Wagh.
In September, Tata Motors emerged as the lowest bidder in the country’s first bulk tender for electric cars. It will be selling electric Tigor sedans to EESL, a joint venture of four government-owned power sector entities, as part of the contract for 10,000 electric cars to be used by government departments in the national capital region. The company will sell 350 electric Tigors in the first phase (of 500 cars) from November. Tata Motors has priced the electric Tigor at an aggressive price of Rs 10.16 lakh (excluding the GST).
The central government has been nudging the automobile industry to shift to production of electric vehicles as it aspires to have an all-electric vehicle fleet in the country by 2030. Nitin Gadkari, Union road transport and highways minister, said in September that the government would "bulldoze" the industry if it did not shift to cleaner fuel vehicles. Besides lowering emissions, a shift to electric vehicles is expected to decrease the country’s reliance on import of crude oil.