Two companies with Chinese links are among the three bidders for supplying 300 electric buses for Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), three people aware of the development said. The third bidder is Tata Motors Ltd.
India’s PMI Electro Mobility Solutions Pvt. Ltd has partnered with China’s Beiqi Foton Motor Co., while bus coach manufacturer Azad Group has collaborated with Xiamen Golden Dragon Bus Co.
The selected bidder will supply, maintain and operate the low-floor buses for 11 years. India’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles, or FAME 2 scheme, under which the tender will be issued, has an overall subsidy corpus of ₹10,000 crore. This comes against the backdrop of heightened tensions between India and China, following a border clash in Ladakh in June.
India has restricted bidders from countries with which it shares a land border from participating in tenders for government procurement, without approval from competent authorities on the grounds of defence and national security.
“PMI Electro is an Original Equipment Manufacturer having a technology tie-up with Beiqi Foton Motors. As a part of its endeavour to manufacture electric buses in India by following the phased manufacturing program issued by the Department of Heavy Industries, which mandates localization of key components including the battery, motor, chassis, axle, suspension, etc,” Manvi Jain, head corporate affairs, PMI Electro, and director, Foton PMI Bus India Pvt. Ltd, said in an emailed response. “As part of its bid to DTC, it has already committed to delivering buses complying to the above guidelines and localization. Therefore, the question of assembly of components received from Foton does not arise,” Jain added.
India has restricted the import of tyres and other auto components from China, and barred hundreds of Chinese apps, including Bluehole’s PUBG, Bytedance’s TikTok, and Alibaba’s UC Browser, citing national security concerns.
A Tata Motors spokesperson said in an emailed response, “Tata Motors has been proactively supporting the government’s electrification drive and its vision of bringing down the emission levels in the country, while focusing on sustainable mobility. Tata Motors continues to participate in all the tenders depending on the terms and conditions that complement the company’s product and services portfolio.”
The bids will be evaluated on the basis of the lowest per kilometre charge per bus. The eventual plan is to deploy 1,000 electric buses. In July, the Delhi government led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had unveiled its policy to have at least 50% electric buses in the DTC fleet.
News Source: Livemint