Week In India: Mumbai BEST Bus Tenders For 1900 Electric Buses; ARAI Develops EV Chargers, And More


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Mumbai BEST Bus Tenders For 1900 Electric Buses

The BEST buses issued tenders for getting 1,900 fully electric buses. This tender is one of the biggest electric bus fleet expansions in the country. It will issue tenders in the next few days for procuring 200 double-deckers, which will also be fully electric. BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra said – “We want to make nearly 50% of our fleet electric by 2023. We have floated the tender for 1,900 buses which will include 1,400 full-length buses of 12 metres, 100 Minibusses, and 400 Midi buses.” Maharashtra’s Electric Vehicle policy calls for the public transport undertaking to maintain a 15% fleet as ‘electric’ by 2025. This target has been taken seriously by BEST. At present, the BEST has charging stations at four bus depots, but it will soon increase this facility to all 27 depots. For procuring the 1,900 buses, the time period allotted is one-and-a-half years, with 25% new electric bus procurement (475 buses) for Mumbai in six months, 25% in the next six months, and 50% thereafter.

ARAI Develops EV Chargers

In order to give a boost to electric vehicles in the country, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has indigenously developed a charger for electric vehicles. At the press conference organized to announce the details of the upcoming Symposium on International Automotive Technology (SIAT 2021), ARAI Director Reji Mathai informed that to promote EVs, the charging infrastructure is very important and since the mobility chargers are imported, the association’s focus is to develop these indigenously, which will be cost-effective and boost the local economy. The chargers are expected to cost around Rs 50,000 – 60,000. 

EV Registrations in Jan-Aug 2021 Surpasses Last Year’s Total Registrations

India is one of the few countries that support the global EV30@30 campaign, which targets to have at least 30% electrification of its new vehicle sales by 2030. Given this target and a strong government push over the last two years, the EV landscape is witnessing an increase in EV penetration in India. The push can be observed in terms of incentives offered under the FAME-II scheme and waiving-off of registration fees and road tax by many states. The y-o-y increase in registrations of EVs in India during the last 4 years (except during 2020) is a testimony to the above-stated fact. In fact, the number of registrations this year till August 2021 (1,45,061) has already surpassed last year’s total registrations (1,19,640). The share of EVs in total vehicle registrations this year (till August) doubled to 1.4% from 0.7% last year, which is a rather distinguished achievement for the EV sector.

WardWizard Innovations & Mobility Plans To Invest Rs 150 cr In EV Business In Next 6 Months

Vadodara-based electric vehicle maker WardWizard Innovations & Mobility plans to invest Rs 150 crore in the business in the next six months. It has plans to ramp up technology and infrastructure, among others, to meet the increased demand.  The company sells its e-scooters and bikes under the ‘Joy e-bike’ brand, which includes five high-speed vehicles and five in the low-speed category. WardWizard will also foray into more segments than products, including an e-rickshaw in the passenger segment and an e-four-wheeler. The EV manufacturer’s vehicle sales increased by a record 435% to 2001 units in August over 374 units in the same period year-ago. Yatin Gupte, Chairman, and Managing Director, WardWizard Innovations & Mobility said – “For the last four years, we have been investing around Rs 250-275 crore every year. Seeing the demand in the next 1-2 years, we are likely to invest around Rs 150 crore in the coming six months, which we will be utilizing in ramping up our technology, infrastructure, and higher localization.” He said that 50 percent of funds would be raised from the market and the remaining half will be infused by the promoters. 

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MoEVing And Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. Collaborate For A Strategic Electric Vehicles Procurement Deal

Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd (PVPL), a 100 % subsidiary of the Italian Piaggio Group
(European leader of the 2Wheeler sector) and India’s leading manufacturer of small commercial vehicles has partnered with MoEVing, a technology-led company with a vision to transform the EV ecosystem to accelerate EV adoption in India. MoEVing will immediately deploy 130 Ape’ E-Xtra FX Cargo from Piaggio vehicles in their fleet. In addition to this, MoEVing aims to add a total of 500 Piaggio Ape’ E-Xtra FX to the existing fleet by 2022. Through an integrated approach of demand aggregation, supply optimization, and connected charging infrastructure for various applications including e-commerce, the partnership will accelerate the adoption of electric 3-wheelers in India in the last mile transportation segment.

Delhi Transport Department To Issue Over 4,200 E-auto Permits Soon

The Delhi Transport Department has invited applications for e-auto rickshaw permits. A Delhi Aadhaar number will be mandatory for the same. There are plans to issue over 4,200 e-auto permits, with 35 percent of these being reserved for women applicants. The permits are likely to be issued soon after a meeting by the transport minister. A senior transport department official said that software is being developed for inviting online applications for electrical auto permits soon. Those interested to apply will be required to have a valid driving license from Delhi or elsewhere. However, a Delhi Aadhaar number will be required compulsorily. National Informatics Centre (NIC) is developing the software which is undergoing trials, after which it will be launched for the e-auto permit applications. The software will be linked with the VAHAN portal of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. This will make it easier to verify the driving licenses.

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COGOS Partners With Three Wheels United To Provide EV Financing Solutions To Driver Partners

COGOS – Bangalore-based logistic player announces its partnership with the Three Wheels United(TWU) – a Bangalore-based financier of light electric vehicles to provide Electric Vehicle (EV) financing solutions to driver-partners. Aligning with the company’s vision of encouraging entrepreneurship, this partnership will further encourage driver-partners to stay relevant to the changing needs of the logistic business and get easy financing for EVs. This tie-up will enable easy financing of over 500 EVs. With evolving new technology and models, the secondary market for EVs is nascent.  These factors pose a challenge for raising EV finance for driver owners. COGOS and TWU tie-ups address the current market challenge by providing smoother finance on the on-road price, easy payments, and assured earnings. In the past, COGOS has partnered with other corporate financing and this is a major step in providing direct financing to driver-partners. 

EVRE And Park+ Partner To Set Up 10,000 EV Charging Stations Across The Country

EVRE, which is an EV charging infrastructure player, and Park+, a smart parking solutions provider, recently announced their partnership for setting up 10,000 EV charging stations across India in the next two years. In this partnership, EVRE will conceptualize, design, manufacture, establish, operate and maintain the EV charging infrastructure, while Park+ will arrange for and manage the real estate aspect of the hub. The charging stations will be established across high-demand areas like shopping complexes, residential townships, malls, hotels, and corporate tech parks. There will be a phase-wise installation of these charging stations, which will include setting up 300 charging hubs in Delhi NCR by the end-of-the-year, 100 in Bengaluru, and 100 in Mumbai and Pune, leading to building ground-up charging infrastructure for increasing density of stations in a buildup for increased EV adoption in the urban communities.

ISGF Study Report on ‘EV Charging Infrastructure Planning and Rollout For Bengaluru City, Released By Mr. V Sunill Kumar, Honorable Minister for Energy, Government of Karnataka

Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company Ltd (BESCOM) is the State Nodal Agency for setting up EV charging infrastructure in Karnataka. BESCOM distributes electricity to over 12 million customers in Bengaluru City and adjacent districts of Kolar, Tumakur, Ramanagara, Chikkaballapur, Chitradurga, and Davanagere covering an area of 41,092 sq km. BESCOM, the state-owned electricity distribution company has always been a front runner in the adoption of new technologies. Karnataka Government issued an Electric Vehicles and Energy Storage Policy in 2017 with the objective of making Bengaluru the EV capital of India. Accordingly, BESCOM has already installed 136 charging stations at 74 locations (32 DC fast-chargers at 15 locations and 104 AC chargers at 74 locations) in Bengaluru City and pursuing the plan to install 1000 charging stations on the fast track. With the experience of running 136 charging stations, BESCOM realized the need for assessing the capacity of the distribution grid to accommodate the EV load. In many locations, the grid may require an upgrade for accommodating the EV load. This upgrade requires detailed modeling studies.

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MG Motor India Unveils New SUV Astor With Personal AI Assistant And Autonomous (Level 2) Technology

MG Motor India has unveiled MG Astor, India’s first SUV with personal AI assistant and first-in-segment Autonomous (Level 2) technology. Astor is based on the MG’s successful global platform, ZS. Based on MG’s design philosophy of Emotional Dynamism, Astor’s contemporary style will connect with consumers. It has a prominent Bold Celestial Grille that makes a solid on-road impression. The SUV poses an elegant and ready-for-action stance with a classic leopard jump shoulder line. Astor’s nine crystal diamond elements in the LED headlamps make for a distinct hawk-eye expression with precise details. The interiors are elegantly crafted with soft-touch and premium material. It will be coming in two engine options – the Brit Dynamic 220 TURBO petrol engine with a 6-speed AT delivering a whopping 220Nm of torque and 140ps of power. And the other – VTi Tech petrol engine with manual transmission & an 8-speed CVT, delivering 144Nm of torque and 110ps of power.

OTO And PURE EV Partner To Accelerate E-2W Adoption

OTO, which is a two-wheeler buying and financing platform, said that it has partnered with EV maker PURE EV to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the country. With this, PURE EV vehicles will be made available through the OTO’s platform across five cities, with the collaboration aiming to sell and finance over 1,000 two-wheelers by December in addition to expanding business pan-India. Also, PURE EV will showcase its range of scooters to e-bikes on the OTO platform and offer flexible financing options for customers such as affordable interest rates and innovative ownership monthly installments (OMIs) to customers. OTO operates a financing model for 2-wheelers where the buyer pays an upfront amount like any other loan but gets up to 35 percent lower EMIs with an option to retain, return or upgrade at the end of the tenure.

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