E-bus rollout in September; EV finance needs attention: Eka’s Sudhir Mehta

PUNE: The chairman of the city-based auto components maker Pinnacle Industries, as well as its fully-owned electric mobility firm Eka, Sudhir Mehta, said in an interaction with TOI that the company is readying to roll out its “indigenous” E9 bus in September with a private fleet operator, while it is also readying to bid for government transport utility tenders.

Mehta also added that the company is readying a new plant for the manufacture of these bus es at Pitampur in Madhya Pradesh, to be operational in around nine months and with a manufacturing capacity of 300 buses per month, and is also talking to the state government in Maharashtra for an additional bus manufacturing plant, to be constructed “preferably near Pune”, due to the auto manufacturing ecosystem in the region. The company, which has been selected by the Centre for the auto sector production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, is scheduled to invest around Rs 2,000 crore over five years.

“We have completed the homologation process with the ARAI. Our first buses will be rolled out with a private fleet operator between September and December. However, around 95% of the electric buses right now are being procured by government agencies. Since we are now eligible to participate in tenders, we are targeting the CESL tender for 50,000 buses that is being floated,” Mehta said.

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