EESL finds few takers for e-buses, eyes more charging points

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Mumbai | Published: January 23, 2018 6:25:09 AM

State-run Energy Efficient Services (EESL) has said it is not floating a tender for electric buses because of the lackluster interest from state governments. Saurabh Kumar, managing director, EESL, said a tender for electric buses can only be floated if state governments ask EESL for such buses, which has not been the case, till now.

EESL, e-buses, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, electric three-wheelers, tender for electric buses, Tata Motors,  Mahindra & Mahindra, delhiThe first phase of the order of 500 EVs in Delhi, according to the company, will be deployed by the end of this month. (Representative image: PTI)

State-run Energy Efficient Services (EESL) has said it is not floating a tender for electric buses because of the lackluster interest from state governments. Saurabh Kumar, managing director, EESL, said a tender for electric buses can only be floated if state governments ask EESL for such buses, which has not been the case, till now. “We have not approached anyone for buses. Only when state governments approach us and if we are able to aggregate enough demand, will we look at it,” he said. “The electric sedans tender is very easy to aggregate. It is not so easy to aggregate demand for electric buses, as far as EESL is concerned,” he added. He reasons that for the 10,000 electric sedans order, that will jointly be fulfilled by Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors, there was high level of demand, mainly at the Centre. However, he says demand aggregation for buses will require an effort across states. EESL is also not planning to look to float a tender for electric three-wheelers. The firm had earlier issued an expression of interest for electric three-wheelers. However, a company official had said earlier that the plans to float a tender was soon called off as no “big players” showed any interest. The company, for now, aims to focus on getting its plan to deploy 10,000 electric cars.

The first phase of the order of 500 EVs in Delhi, according to the company, will be deployed by the end of this month. The 250 charging points for these EVs have already been deployed. While phase two of the 9,500 EVs will begin sometime in February (with a six month deadline to supply them), the tender for another 2,000 chargers has already been floated.”We have learned from the first phase, where we had ordered for cars before the chargers, and we realised that giving the cars without the chargers is not really a good idea. This time around, we will first map out the places were chargers have to be put up.” The installation of chargers for the second phase will start from early March. The second phase of deployment is going to start with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

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