Government of India owned energy service company, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), is hoping to get 10,000 electric cars (e-cars) delivered by March 2019 from its first tender it floated in January this year.

Going forward, EESL is about to float the second tender for another 10,000 e-cars very soon. In March, EESL had cancelled its second tender as the government decided to change the specifications for charging facilities, said Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director of EESL, in an interview to Sudheer Singh and Ankush Kumar of ETEnergyworld.

The size of the car depends upon the charging specification. The charging specification that India adopted last year (Bharat DC 001) are meant for level one (basic) charges, explained Saurabh.

The cost of procurement of 10,000 cars is around Rs 1,200 crore which in turn costs Rs 11.8 lakh per vehicle.

In EESL's first tender for procuring 10,000 electric cars, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra qualified the bids under the auction. But, in June, the government rejected the use the electric models supplied by EESL as it was unhappy by the poor performance and low mileage of electric cars made by Tata and Mahindra.

In the first phase of 500 orders, Tata motors were meant to supply 350 e-cars and remaining 150 units were meant to be supplied by Mahindra but as per EESL only 150 units have been delivered by the time of the rejection occured.

In the interview, Saurabh also addressed this issue of low mileage of e-cars, which caused the rejection. He said ,"In the case of one particular manufacturer or OEM, it was said the range was much less than what was promised. This is not based on any scientific testing of these cars. When one buys a car, a certain KMPL is promised. But that comes with a caveat of “under standard test conditions”. And this is certified by ARAI. In a city run, it is difficult to get the certified KMPL? It is the same with electric vehicle. How is the car operated and the traffic conditions play an important role. "

On the speculation that if Tata and Mahindra were asked for change in specifications, Saurabh clarified that the basic conditions, including the range of 130 Km, remain the same. The two auto majors are delivering cars which are actually better than that specification. "We cannot change the 130 Km range. It has been decided," said Saurabh.

With upcoming tender for additional 10,000 cars, India will have 20,000 electric cars through government procurement and these e-cars are expected to save over 5 crore litres of fuel every year leading to a reduction of over 5.6 lakh tonnes of annual CO2 emission in India, which is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change.

Currently, in Delhi around 370 charging points have been set up. Around 153 vehicles are already running. Almost 400 additional vehicles are under various stages of registration. Also, we have demand from AP, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. The tender is going on extremely well. All these states combined, we have got demand for 19,000 electric cars. And this is only for government procurement.

In November last year, EESL has partnered and secured $454 million funding from Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the project Creating and Sustaining Markets for Energy Efficiency, focusing on energy efficiency programmes, and aiming to mitigate CO2 emissions by 60 million tonnes. This was one of the largest funding by GEF.

GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

EESL further proposed an Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund for sustainable funding of energy efficiency projects in India.

A 100% government owned, EESL is a joint venture of state-owned NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and POWERGRID. EESL was formed under India's Ministry of Power to facilitate energy efficiency projects. Innovative business and implementation models can significantly reduce consumption and costs. EESL also acts as the resource centre for capacity building of state electricity distribution companies, electricity regulatory commissions (ERCs), state-designated agencies (SDAs), upcoming ESCOs, financial institutions, etc.

References - Wikipedia, LiveMint, News18

Top Image ~ Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels

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