Electric bus makers in India could see sales boom with government buying

by Sricharan R 27 Feb 2021


As the buzz around electric mobility grows louder by the day in India and the low-hanging fruits of the industry – two- and three-wheelers – see growing demand from both corporates and citizens, the electric bus manufacturing industry looks to be in for a bonanza. And it could be a much-awaited sales boom.

In the recently announced Tamil Nadu state Budget, the Deputy Chief Minister had said that the state plans to purchase 12,000 new buses out of which 2,000 will be electric. Around 2,200 BS-VI buses and 500 electric buses will be procured at a cost of Rs 1,580 crore with KfW financial assistance.

More assurance for the electric bus sector has come from Delhi’s Transport Minister. At Autocar Professional’s recently held virtual EV Forum on 'Building a Sustainable EV Industry' conducted by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said that the state government has finalised a deal to induct 300 electric buses in DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) and floated tenders for an additional 600 electric buses.

“These 900 buses will be 12-metre-long, low-floor buses. Going forward, any public transport buses we buy will be electric,” the minister added. He detailed that the Delhi EV policy, announced in early August 2020, has seen a good market and industry response. Between August 2020 and early February 2021, more than 7,000 EVs has come onto Delhi roads and Rs 13.5 crore in terms of subsidies paid.

In the same forum, Dr Neeraj Mittal, MD and CEO of ‎Tamil Nadu Industrial Guidance and Export Promotion Bureau spoke about the procurement of 500 electric buses for the state in the public-private partnership. “This is one such example where public-private partnership works in EV development,” he said. Dr Mittal highlighted both the states’ commitment in the electric mobility drive.

Given that a number of state governments have already notified EV policies, it can be surmised that substantial business could be coming to electric bus makers through state governments' initiatives or the public-private partnership model. . With Delhi and Tamil Nadu at the forefront of the EV movement in the country, expect other states to follow suit.