Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg

Nissan to Hyundai Keen on India's $203 Million Order for EVs

  • India has floated tender for 10,000 EVs for use by government
  • Last date for bid submission is Sept. 22, official says

Renault SA, Hyundai Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. are among companies interested in supplying India 10,000 electric cars as part of the country’s efforts to reduce emissions and curb fuel imports, a government official said.

The deadline for bids has been extended by four days to Sept. 22 to help allow overseas companies ascertain rules for imports, Saurabh Kumar, managing director of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd., said in a phone interview Monday in New Delhi. EESL, the government agency that runs India’s energy efficiency programs, issued the tender for plug-in vehicles that would replace government cars operating in and around the capital city.

The order, worth about 13 billion rupees ($203 million), is the first of its kind in a country that boasts Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. as the only manufacturer of an electric car -- the e20, a micro vehicle. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked a group of senior ministers to lead an initiative to ensure that by 2030 almost all vehicles in India are powered by electricity as a way to curb oil imports and pollution.

A Renault representative said the company is evaluating the bid, while those for Nissan and Hyundai declined to comment.

Bids have been called to supply 500 electric cars by Nov. 30 and the rest by June. Overseas carmakers already having servicing and maintenance facilities in India are eligible to participate and a single firm can’t bid for more than half the tendered number, according to Kumar.

The federal government and its many agencies may have half a million vehicles in the national capital region, according to Kumar’s estimates.

Indian carmakers including Tata Motors Ltd. and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. are considering making electric vehicles in the $30 billion auto market. Sales of zero-emission cars will account for 53.3 percent of the total by 2040, although making batteries and building charging stations would be challenging, according to Niti Aayog, the official think tank.

EESL is a joint venture between India’s Ministry of Power and state-backed companies in the power industry such as NTPC Ltd., Rural Electrification Corp., Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd., Power Finance Corp., as well as the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

— With assistance by P R Sanjai

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