SWITCHING LANES: India wants to promote battery-powered vehicles

INDIA’S Tata Motors has won a bid to manufacture thousands of electric cars for the government as part of a push to promote battery-powered ve­hicles as the nation grapples with soaring pollution levels.

State-owned energy efficiency ser­vices limited (ESSL) will procure 10,000 cars from Tata Motors, with the first batch hitting roads later this year, the company said in a statement.

The cars, priced at nearly $15,500, are the first attempt by the Indian gov­ernment to replace its half-a-million fleet of diesel and petrol cars – used by high ranking government employees – with electric vehicles.

“(The) First 500 e-cars will be sup­plied to EESL in November 2017 and the rest, 9,500 EVs, will be delivered in the second phase,” ESSL said.

Tata’s rival in the market, Mahindra – currently the only company manu­facturing electric vehicles in India – lost the bid. Japanese Nissan Motor also failed to win the contract.

New Delhi has said it wants all new vehicles to be electric by 2030. In addi­tion to the 10,000 electric cars, it will also roll out nearly 100,000 electric auto rick­shaws and buses in the next few weeks.

A government report in May said the mobility of passengers through shared and electric vehicles can cut India’s en­ergy demand by 64 per cent and car­bon emissions by 37 per cent in 2030.