Gujarat tenders for 100 battery-operated school vans

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The Gujarat Energy Development Agency has invited expressions of interest for the manufacture, marketing and distribution of 100 battery-operated school minibuses for the state.

Interested manufacturers with at least three years’ experience of producing three or four-wheel vehicles have until October 22 to register their interest. Under the terms of the tender published on the agency website, the maximum price for vehicles will be fixed by the tenderer and manufacturer and the latter will qualify for a subsidy of Rs150,000.

The procurement exercise is being held as part of the state’s annual electric vehicle support package.

Eligible bidders must also hold certification from the Automotive Research Association of India or other authorized body and have at least one authorized dealership with sales, service and spares facilities in every district of Gujarat.

The vehicles must be ready by March 31.

E-mobility push

In July, the state energy agency issued two calls for expressions of interest from manufacturers for the marketing and distribution of battery-operated two-wheel vehicles, and three-wheeled ‘e-rickshaws’. The two-wheeler tender concerned 1,000 units for students from Class IX to XII as well as college students, who would be offered a subsidy of Rs10,000 by the agency.

Under Gujarat’s draft EV policy, the state aims to have one 1 lakh of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2022, including 80,000 two-wheelers; 14,000 three-wheelers; 4,500 commercial taxis; and 1,500 public buses. Battery charging stations will be set up across the state.

The National Institution for Transforming India Aayog policy thinktank, has recommended only electric versions of scooters and motorbikes with an engine capacity of more than 150cc should be sold from 2025. It also suggested cab aggregators such as Uber replace all diesel and petrol vehicles in India with EVs by 2030. The policy unit suggested the replacement of public sector petrol and diesel vehicles with electric models by 2030 and mooted an e-highways program – featuring an overhead electricity network – to enable electric trucks and buses to operate on select national highways.