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The power ministry has offered to supply electric cars to central government departments, which can either lease or purchase them — a move that can raise demand for such vehicles by about 5 lakh. The proposed move will be a big boost for automobile majors such as Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, which have already bagged orders to supply e-vehicles. Foreign foreign firms such as Nissan and China’s BYD are also potential gainers.
Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), the nodal agency for the proposed schemes, has offered to provide new e-cars on lease to government departments, PSUs and agencies for six years. The company has also offered to procure cars for the ministries at a cost of 11.8 lakh per car inclusive of taxes. Under the lease model, chauffer–driven e-cars will be supplied for eight hours per day, 26 days a month, to the ministries.
Some government departments say the cost of 40,000 per car for a month is expensive. EESL has also demanded 260 per extra working hour. Bureaucrats in various departments said work hours stretch beyond regular timings. The ministries will also have to pay 3 per km for travel beyond 80 km, while they will also be paying for the electricity for charging. “There are so many riders in the scheme and it may turn out to be very unaffordable affair. There is no scope for negotiations too,” said a government official.
EESL MD Saurabh Kumar told ET that power ministry is looking at accommodating some changes in the scheme. “These concerns are being aligned as per their requirement,” he said. “Capital cost for electric cars is 40% higher than the equivalent cost of petrol or diesel cars. This is EESL’s endeavour to kick-start electric mobility without any government subsidy. The cost comparison (between electric and petrol or diesel vehicles) will never be in favour of electric mobility.”
EESL is likely to hire agencies to provide drivers, 12-hour customer service, emergency road assistance and, maintenance and repair of the vehicles. In case the government departments choose to take a commercial e-vehicle on lease, they will have to bear parking costs, toll taxes and duties.
The departments can also choose to register the vehicles in their names and at the end of the lease period they will have the right to keep the vehicles after the lease period. EESL will assist the departments in setting up charging stations for the vehicles while the ministries will have to bear the costs and ensure the land and parking space. Cars without drivers are being offered at 20,000 per month.
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