Rajasthan Seeks Bidders for 150 Electric Buses

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The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) has issued a Request for Proposal (RfP) to select bus operators for the procurement, operation, and maintenance of 50 air-conditioned electric-powered buses under the phase II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles in India (FAME II) program.

The last date for the submission of bids is October 21, 2019.

As per RSRTC sources the 12-meter electric buses should have the capability to run a minimum of 300 kilometers on a single charge with full load for the interstate and intercity operations.

The successful bidder will be provided demand incentives under the FAME-II program by RSRTC.

The scope of the tender includes the manufacturing and supply of electric buses, carry out preventive and breakdown maintenance of buses, and operate buses on the routes specified by RSRTC.

The work also involves developing charging infrastructure, including the development, supply, and installation of transformers and other necessary electrical systems and accessories.

The successful bidder is also required to provide chargers and maintain complete charging infrastructure, including infrastructure for undertaking preventive and breakdown maintenance. The RSRTC will pay for the cost of electricity consumed for the charging of electric buses.

Prospected bidders should pay a sum of ₹50,000 (~$704) towards the bid processing fee. Moreover, the bidders will have to pay ₹15 million (~$211,176) as a security deposit.

Similarly, Jaipur City Transport Services Limited (JCTSL) has also issued a Request for Proposal (RfP) for the supply, operation, and maintenance of 100 fully built air-conditioned electric-powered buses at Jaipur city on build, own, operate, and transfer (BOOT) basis.

  1. The last date for the submission of bids is October 24, 2019.
  2. The estimated cost of the project is ₹1.75 billion (~$24.7 million) for ten years.
  3. The company currently operates nearly 300 diesel buses.

This project will also be under the Fame India phase II program of the central government and will be operated on the OPEX model.

Since bidding is based on gross cost contract, the rate quoted by the bidder will be on per kilometer basis, and the entire cost of charging infrastructure, including the cost of charging equipment, transformer, and other expenses for installation of charging infrastructure will have to be incurred by the operator.

This move by the Rajasthan government that could encourage electric mobility in the state, but the scale is still too small 150 buses. So far, the state hasn’t paid due emphasis on the expansion of electric vehicles.

The central government recently cut the applicable rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on electric vehicles. The 36th GST Council meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, decided that the GST rate on all the electric vehicles be reduced from 12% to 5%. Moreover, the GST rates on chargers or charging stations for EVs have been reduced from 18% to 5%. The council also decided that the hiring of electric buses (carrying capacity more than 12 passengers) by local authorities will be exempted from GST.

This GST rate cut, along with the recent move to exempt EV registration fees, and the tax incentives could help catapult the electric vehicle uptake in the country. The charging station infrastructure segment is also growing with foreign players and foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into the industry.

Moreover, the Finance Ministry has approved ₹40 billion (~$0.58 billion) as a subsidy that will be spent under phase II of the FAME India program. This phase will entail subsidies exclusively for electric buses and for setting up charging infrastructure across all vehicle segments.

In August 2019, the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) under the Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, granted the approval for 5,595 electric buses to be deployed in 64 cities under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) program.

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