Electric vehicles charging infrastructure: After ordering 10,000 EVs from Tata Motors and M&M, EESL plan goes awry

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Mumbai | Published: December 22, 2017 6:02:33 AM

While Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) has ordered 10,000 electric vehicles from auto makers Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), its plans to put the charging infrastructure in place have gone awry.

Electric vehicles charging infrastructure, EESL, Tata Motors,  Mahindra and Mahindra, EVI Technologies, Exicom Power Solutions, AC chargers,  Exicomtender for 4,000 charging stations, floated in September this year to meet the requirements of the 10,000 EVs ordered, was scrapped. (IE)

While Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) has ordered 10,000 electric vehicles from auto makers Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), its plans to put the charging infrastructure in place have gone awry. A tender for 4,000 charging stations, floated in September this year to meet the requirements of the 10,000 EVs ordered, was scrapped. The 4,000 charger tender was floated by EESL, but cancelled due to complaints from bidders during the meeting over the lack of clarity on the specifications of the chargers, said an EESL official. The tender was floated to procure 4,000 units of car charging stations, including 3,000 units AC units, which allow vehicles to run 80-100 kms after 6-7 hours of charging, and another 1,000 units of DC chargers, that take only 40 minutes to charge an EV battery. To remedy the situation, EESL in late October, floated another tender for 300 charging stations, which was also cancelled. According to one of the bidders for the tender, both the orders were cancelled as the criteria for testing the chargers was not properly described. As the delivery of the 500 vehicles from Tata Motors and M&M for the first phase of the electric sedans order began in November, a third tender was floated for 250 charging stations for the Delhi-NCR region, which was awarded to Exicom Power Solutions.

However, last week, another bidder, EVI Technologies, agreed to match the bid made by the lowest bidder and will also be supplying the charging units — similar to what happened in the tender for EVs where two players participated at the lowest bid price. It is learnt that 7-8 companies had bid for the tender. According to EESL, of the 250 chargers, 200 will be AC chargers and 50 will be DC ones. DC chargers generally are for fast charging and AC chargers are traditional chargers. Both the bidders have been asked to supply 100 AC chargers each, while Exicom will be supplying 25 DC chargers.

The remaining 25 DC chargers have not yet been alotted. EESL says that the alottment will happen soon. EESL says setting up of the charging stations has already begun and they will be installed in time before all the 500 cars have been deployed. According to experts, the 250 chargers would be sufficient for the 500 cars from the first phase. However, EESL still needs a total of 4,000 charging stations for the 10,000 electric sedans that will be supplied as part of the order. In a mail response, EESL said, “EESL would place future orders depending on the project’s infrastructural needs. The quantum of procurement would be based on business requirements.”

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