Switch Mobility requests higher price for tendered AC double-decker buses from BEST as new Govt mandate raises input costs

The revised pricing is attributed to the government's new requirement mandating electronic stability systems in the vehicles.

By Shahkar Abidi calendar 07 Sep 2023 Views icon10831 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Switch Mobility requests higher price for tendered AC double-decker buses from BEST as new Govt mandate raises input costs

Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle division of Chennai-based Ashok Leyland, stated that they have made a representation to BEST, Mumbai's public transport arm, stating that the original rate now needs to be revised due to higher input costs resulting from the Centre's new mandate requiring these vehicles to have an electronic stability system for added efficiency and safety.

Mahesh Babu, CEO, Switch Mobility, said, "As per the tender, if there is any change in law, then they are supposed to pay higher."

"We have represented the BEST, and if they agree, then we will be happy to deliver with enhanced features," Babu added, whose company won orders to supply 200 double-decker buses on a gross contract basis (GCC).

The remarks from Babu come even as media reports from July suggested the BEST administration had warned of action if Switch Mobility failed to deliver 38 air-conditioned double-decker buses by September. The company delivered only 24 such buses. 

Switch Mobility was originally supposed to deliver 50 buses by February, according to the reports.

BEST also reportedly blacklisted another company, Causis E-Mobility, a part of London-headquartered CAUSIS Group, for failing to supply 700 buses. 

As per industry norms, the GCC charges remain inclusive of electricity, the cost of chargers, charging infrastructure like transformers, substations, civil works and installations, maintenance, and manpower costs, amongst others. 

Demand from the private sector is rising
In addition to demand from state transportation corporations, Switch Mobility claims strong demand from the private sector. For instance, JSW, to whom Switch Mobility recently supplied 70 odd buses, has placed an order for another 60 buses. Likewise, Chalo, an app-based bus transportation player to whom Switch Mobility supplied 20 buses, has sought 80 additional buses for its operations in Indore.

"The agreement is signed, and we will be delivering the vehicles in a few months' time", Babu continued, before adding that the company already has an orderbook of over 1,500 vehicles in hand, which it plans to deliver over the next 18 months. 

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