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Green option: Government tender for 3,500 electric powertrain vehicles soon

The Centre is looking at replacing the government fleet of petrol and diesel cars with electric powertrain vehicles, and the exercise will commence with the issue of a tender to procure 3,500 EV units shortly.

Convergence Energy Services (CESL), the state-run company that handles the acquisition of EVs for central and state government departments, said the size of the program could expand as more and more electric vehicles are launched by automakers at the affordable end of the market. Central and state governments have a combined fleet of about 600,000 petrol and diesel cars.

CESL chief executive Mahua Acharya told ET that the company has received a ‘qualified’ demand for 3,500 electric vehicles, a tender for which may be floated shortly.

“Additionally, there is an opportunity to increase penetration of electric vehicles in the fleet segment. Given the usage patterns and economics, fleet is one area where EV 4W sales can take off with more options being introduced in the mass market”, said Acharya.

The fresh tender from CESL comes at a time when the adoption for EV is gaining momentum in the passenger vehicle space. The market for passenger vehicle EVs is set to cross 50,000 units for the first time.

While the qualified demand is 3,500, very quickly the number could go up to 10,000 vehicles within two years, she added.

Last week, Tata Motors breached the sub-Rs 10 lakh barrier in EV pricing with the launch of Tiago at a disruptive price of ₹8.49-11.79 lakh (ex-showroom) for the first 10,000 buyers. The company also offers electric variants of SUV Nexon and sedan Tigor, at present. Tata Motors is scheduled to come out with Altroz EV and Punch EV in the next one year, expanding the choices for consumers in the sub-₹15 lakh market.

According to Acharya, the sweet spot of EVs for government employees is around ₹15-17 lakh. “We only have a few models on the road. When we offer options, only very few are accessible.”

For the government of India, the ideal affordability replacement level is ₹15-17 lakhs – the current Nexon EV works very well, believed Acharya.

Overall, nearly 20 EVs are set to hit Indian roads in the next three years.

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