Home-grown auto major Tata Motors could soon become the biggest manufacturer of electric cars as the company on Friday won a government-administered tender to sell 10,000 electric variants of the Tigor, its sedan car.
Priced at Rs 10.16 lakh, it will be the company’s first electric car, supplies of which will begin in November. All the cars will be supplied by October next year.
Tata Motors emerged as the lowest bidder in the tender floated by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a joint-venture comprising four government-owned power sector entities — NTPC, Power Grid, Power Finance Corp and Rural Electrification Corporation. It was the world’s single-largest tender for procurement of e-vehicles, stated the government.
Tata Motors Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (MD) Guenter Butschek said the company had been working to develop electric powertrain technology for its selected products. “The tender provided us the opportunity to participate in boosting e-mobility, at the same time accelerate our efforts to offer a full range of electric vehicles to Indian consumers.”
The other two participants were Mahindra & Mahindra and Nissan. Nissan did not qualify the technical bid stage. M&M, currently the only manufacturer of electric cars in India, quoted a price of around Rs 12 lakh for its eVerito sedan. EESL MD Saurabh Kumar said M&M will be given an opportunity to match the price quoted by Tata Motors. “If it matches that, we will split the order and 40 per cent of the 10,000 e-cars can be supplied by M&M,” he told Business Standard. M&M sells less than 2,000 units in the domestic market due to limited appetite at prevailing prices.
Along with the GST, the e-Tigor will be priced at Rs 11.2 lakh. The GST for electric vehicles is 12 per cent. These electric vehicles will also qualify for subsidies under the central government’s FAME scheme, which could bring down the price by about Rs 1 lakh.
Tata Motors is learnt to be working on electric variant of the its two entry-level cars — the Nano and Tiago. The company is offering a comprehensive five-year warranty on the e-Tigor, while the warranty on eVerito is for three years. Tata Motors is likely to sell electric cars in the open market as well.
EESL plans to source electric cars and lease them to government departments and offices. The cars will initially be leased to power ministry departments and power public sector units in the National Capital Region. EESL is expected to come out with more bulk tenders for e-vehicles.
EESL will also identify a service provider agency, also appointed through competitive bidding, to carry out end-to-end fleet management of the procured vehicles.