Tata Motors, India's largest automaker, has delivered the first batch of its Tigor electric vehicles to Energy Efficiencies Services Limited (EESL), part of the Ministry of Power, to begin fulfilling their 2017 contract to supply the state-run company with 10,000 electric vehicles.
Guenter Butschek, CEO and managing director, Tata Motors, left, hands over the symbolic key of the Tigor EVs
to Saurabh Kumar, managing director, Energy Efficiencies Services Limited, Delhi, December 6, 2017 (Photo courtesy Tata Motors)
Guenter Butschek, CEO and managing director, Tata Motors, said, "This initiative of the Government of India to procure 10,000 electric vehicles is a bold step in terms of promoting green and sustainable transport solutions."
Butschek handed over the keys of the first few Tigor EVs to Saurabh Kumar, EESL managing director, in December 2017, on National Energy Conservation Day, nearly six months before the Tigor EV will be offered on the open market.
"We, at Tata Motors are extremely proud to be part of this project and are supportive of the government’s transformational vision of auto electrification in India," Butschek said.
The rollout of the first 500 cars has begun in Delhi, and the second phase of the contract will see 9,500 electric cars being leased to government authorities across India.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided last year to allow only electric cars to be sold in India by 2030. This is considered a most ambitious target. By comparison, Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars 10 years later, from 2040.
"With Tigor EV, we have begun our journey in boosting e-mobility and will offer a full range of electric vehicles to the Indian customers," Butschek said. "This tender has effectively paved the way for connecting our aspirations in the e-mobility space with the vision of the government."
Tata Motors is quickly extending its line of electric vehicles.
At the Geneva International Motor Show last week, Tata staged the world premiere of the E-Vission sedan, an electric concept that expands the automaker's line of electric vehicles.
Tata already offers six EV products, including a 12 meter-long electric bus with a Smart Bus Stop and two electric passenger carriers - the Magic EV and the Iris EV.
The other three Tata EVs are the Tiago EV, the Tigor EV and the Racemo EV sportscar, affirming the company’s efforts to facilitate faster adoption of electric vehicles to help create India's sustainable future.
Now, EESL is doubling its initial purchase of electric vehicles, buying 10,000 in 2017 and another 10,000 this year.
R.K. Singh, Union Minister of State Power and New and Renewable Energy, launched the National E-Mobility Programme in Delhi on March 7. The program aims to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators and service providers.
"My message to industry is, come and invest in manufacturing of e-vehicles and batteries," said Singh, announcing the new E-Mobility Programme.
The electric vehicles will replace the government's existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles.
The minister commented that electric vehicles make sense from point of view of both the environment and the economy. He said EESL will issue a new tender very soon for 10,000 more e-vehicles to cater to the growing demand.
By Sunny Lewis
Environment News Service (ENS)