In what appears to be a sudden change of heart of the administration heading India’s transition to an all electric future, we have learnt from sources that EESL may altogether be cancelling the bid for 4,000 EV chargers, which were to be established in Delhi – NCR and create the infrastructure required for the stimulation of demand for electric vehicles.
We also understand from sources that EESL may now release a fresh tender for only 300 AC chargers and 100 DC Chargers as required for the first phase of the charging infrastructure for the 500 EVs in Delhi, subsequent to which the standards for EV Chargers released by the Department of Heavy Industries (Bharat AC-001 and DC-001) would be revisited and possibly upgraded to meet with global norms.
Mr. Saurabh Kumar, the Managing Director of EESL who is accredited with the success of EESL’s competitive procurement of LED bulbs, which has helped prices crash to unanticipated levels over the course of the past 3 years, had 10 days back tweeted to say “Snap bid for EV chargers initiated for faster launch of charging stations for first EV batch expected by mid-November,”
— Saurabh Kumar (@Saurabh_KumR) October 27, 2017
This was in continuation to the affirmation given to the Economic Times on the planned rollout of the Electric vehicle infrastructure in September ’17 “We have a thing that we start small; we try to do things right, and then immediately scale it up to things that people can’t even imagine … We are testing a business model. This is a signal to the industry that government is serious about it. And 10,000 (e-vehicles) is just the starting,”
He had further gone on to state “There is full justification for a consumer to start using electric cars. Once you have 4,000 chargers, once you have 10,000 vehicles in Delhi and NCR, people will start demanding electric cars,”
However, it appears that now EESL would have its work cut out to get the required infrastructure of charging stations in place to meet the timelines planned for the delivery of the first phase of Electric vehicles which are to be supplied by Tata Motors & Mahindra and were expected to start “rolling in” by the middle of November.
The Bharat standards as per which the initial tender released by EESL for 3,000 AC chargers and 1,000 DC chargers had left many of the participating bidders confused as to why the government seemed to have chosen the low voltage level of 48V for such a widespread and futuristic development of Charging infrastructure at a time when International infrastructure for cars and chargers was being developed at far higher voltage levels between 200-580V.
The confusion over the standards and errors in the tender specifications which remained unanswered even after the closure of the initial tender, and prior to the call for the revised ‘Snap bid’ had caused industry participants to view with skepticism the possibility of the original tender sailing through without delay.
Now as we wait for the announcement of new standards and an official confirmation on the cancellation of EESL’s original tender for 4,000 EV Chargers – and the subsequent release of the revised tender for 400 EV Chargers, India shall once again face its most favoured adversary as it races against time to meet with the bold commitments made by our leadership and compliantly enforced by our administration.