India : For e-mobility to happen, regulation needs to be tweaked: EESL chief

With the project's progress, Mahindra will be offered a capex-free model currently offered to PSUs implementing energy-efficient programmes


Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a joint venture of NTPC Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp Ltd, Power Finance Corp Ltd and Power Grid Corp, has moved from distributing LED bulbs to the masses and installing energy efficient street lights for municipalities to providing large-scale energy efficiency solutions to conglomerates and leasing e-vehicles to the government offices.

However, leading such initiatives as e-mobility beyond government use will be difficult, unless the regulation allows private sector also to participate in setting up the infrastructure for e-vehicles.

“At the moment, as per the regulatory regime of the power sector , no one apart from a distribution company can own power, which means only a Discom will be able to set up a charging station,” Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL, said in the interview with BusinessLine.

“At the moment, there cannot be any private sector participation, unless the regulations allows the private players to set up the charging stations. This is something the government is working on and I hope it happens very soon because unless you have charging stations across the country you cannot expect e-mobility to really happen,” he added.

ESSL has recently tendered 10,000 electric vehicles to replace petrol and diesel cars used by the central government and its agencies.

According to Kumar, the electric vehicles procured under this tender will be for exclusive use of the government and the charging station will be set up at the government offices with no resale of power involved. “There are about 5 lakh vehicles in central government, attached offices and PSUs. Most of these are leased card. We are offering them e-vehicle with the driver at ₹40,000 per month, and we have put up a charging infrastructure at their offices,” Kumar said, adding that the government is paying the same for leased petrol and diesel cars, hence, switching to e-vehicles will not come at higher cost.

Tata Motors had emerged as the lowest bidder quoting ₹10.16 lakh exclusive of GST, while Mahindra & Mahindra, the L2 bidder, has later agreed to match the price quoted by Tata Motors for the phase I under which first 500 e-vehicles will be procured.

Mahindra & Mahindra will supply 30 per cent of the first 500 vehicles under the first phase of the tender, while it is yet to decide on participating in the second phase.

“In December, we will again ask Mahindra if they want to match the lower price bid for the second phase, and if they agree, the allocation will be divided, otherwise Tata Motors will accomplish the tender,” Kumar said.

Spreading efficiency

While EESL will work with Tata and Mahindra for the e-vehicle programme, it is also in the process of roping large conglomerates for implementing energy efficiency programmes across their offices and factories.

The partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra for replacing lighting solutions and motors across Mahindra’s 18 manufacturing facilities in India with energy efficient alternatives was announced in Mumbai yesterday.

Mahindra will invest ₹16 crore in the installation of LED lighting across its facilities that will save 20 million units of electricity per annum, while EESL will provide technical assistance, cost efficient procurement and project management services.

As the project progresses, Kumar said, Mahindra will be offered a capex-free model.

According to Kumar, Tata Group is another corporate body to have expressed interest in such programme allowing companies reduce operational cost through energy savings such programme. “Several PSU, including Dena bank, SBI, NTPC, NHPC, have also shown their interest,” he said.

He added that EESL is expanding into new areas such as smart meters and air-conditioning that will be offered both to government users, private consumers and industries through various programmes the company is implementing.


Source :

Smart Grid Bulletin February 2019

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