It is also time for electric buses in India, where demand is growing significantly. And on the heels of the 5,450-vehicle tender by CESL that we have already told you about, the central government in the Asian country is reportedly thinking of going big, indeed, very big: tenders for a total of 50 thousand electric city buses are on the horizon. That would appeal to many, especially Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.
«We have state transport undertakings (STUs) at the back being incentivised and encouraged to come up with large orders for us. The bigger the lot size, the lower is the price expectation. The next step is to take it a few notches higher to a scale that is roughly 10 times the grand challenge. The government is looking at 50,000 buses being deployed over the next 5-7 years and this time it will not be restricted to just the top 5-7 cities but to smaller towns across the country», said Mahua Acharya, MD and CEO, Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL), which is spearheading the process. So, she added: «The prices that we realised were 57% lower than diesel and 49% lower than CNG for the buses with subsidy. But even without that, they were lower by 41 and 34%, which means it is self sustainable in a free market»
Consider that there are 1.7 million buses in circulation in India, 1.4 million of which are government-owned. Acharya, as ET Auto reported, admitted: «We will have to pace it so that the technology can develop. We want more international companies to come in and produce here and the best technology to be offered. It will not happen overnight so we have to be careful».