Electric vehicles (EVs), commonly known as battery-operated vehicles, are automobiles powered by one or more electric batteries. Instead of relying on traditional internal combustion engines fueled by gasoline or diesel, these vehicles utilize electric motors for propulsion. Rechargeable batteries store electrical energy in these vehicles, providing the necessary power for the electric motor to drive the wheels. Two primary types of battery-operated vehicles exist: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). BEVs solely rely on electric power stored in batteries, lacking an internal combustion engine. Charging for BEVs is accomplished by plugging them into an electric power source, such as a charging station or a standard electrical outlet. Conversely, PHEVs feature both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. They can function in an all-electric mode within a specific range before transitioning to the internal combustion engine. Similar to BEVs, PHEVs can be charged by connecting them to an electric power source, and they also utilize regenerative braking to recharge the battery while in motion.
Government agencies acquire battery-operated vehicles (BOV) for a variety of reasons, including considerations related to environmental impact, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, climate change mitigation, advocacy for sustainable practices, cost savings, increased efficiency, promotion of technological innovation, compliance with regulations, positive public perception and leadership, as well as health benefits. In the preceding year of 2023, government agencies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India published a total of 10,693 battery operated vehicle tenders. Out of more than 8,000 government agencies, 258 agencies released tenders for these BOVs, with notable numbers in states such as West Bengal (132 tenders), Bihar (1135 tenders), and Tamil Nadu (804 tenders).
Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries are two distinct types of batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs). While lithium-ion batteries are the preferred choice for mainstream electric vehicles due to their performance advantages, lead-acid batteries continue to be used in specific applications where cost considerations, simplicity, and well-established technology are priorities. Notably, there are 105 tenders exclusively seeking electric vehicles with lithium batteries. For example, the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department in Tamil Nadu issued a tender for the procurement of 61 Battery Operated Vehicles with Lithium (BOV) and one year of maintenance in Hosur City Municipal Corporation. Also, 61 tenders were advertised to purchase electric vehicles with lead-acid batteries. For instance, the Zilla Parishad in West Bengal issued a tender for the procurement and transportation of e-Cart No-01, featuring a loading capacity of 600 Kg, a hydraulic operating system, a 1200-watt DC motor, and a 48-volt 100 amp-hour lead-acid battery.
The waste management sector witnessed a surge in tenders for battery-operated vehicles, with 1380 published tenders indicating a growing preference for their environmental benefits, cost-effectiveness, and compliance with evolving regulations. This makes them a fitting choice for urban and municipal fleets. For instance, the rural development department of Maharashtra issued a tender for a battery-operated three-wheeler garbage vehicle. The Uttar Pradesh Department of Urban Development published a tender for a six-bin cart designed for door-to-door garbage collection. Additionally, the Zilla Parishad of West Bengal issued a tender for the supply of an e-cart garbage loader for solid waste management under Tanua Gram Panchayat.
Additionally, there were 81 tenders dedicated to the acquisition of e-Tourist vehicles, emphasizing the global trend toward cleaner and more sustainable tourism practices. These vehicles, available in various forms, such as electric cars, minibuses, electric bicycles, and scooters, offer reduced emissions, lower operational costs, and a quieter, environmentally friendly experience for tourists and locals alike. These vehicles are utilized for guided tours, sightseeing, and transportation services within tourist attractions, heritage sites, and natural landscapes. For example, Telangana’s Department of Defence issued a tender for six fully electric, battery-operated, motor-driven e-tourist vehicles. Similarly, the Tourism Department of Jammu and Kashmir invited a tender for battery-operated vehicles and battery-operated customized vehicles.
The procurement landscape also includes 134 tenders for e-carts with hydraulic systems, highlighting the relevance of fluid-based power transmission. The hydraulic system in an e-Cart typically includes components such as a hydraulic pump, hydraulic fluid reservoir, hydraulic cylinders, and control valves. These carts are often used in industrial settings, warehouses, and other environments where efficient material handling and transportation are essential. For instance, Uttarakhand’s Department of Heavy Industry invited a tender for supply and commissioning of e-loader/e-cart with hydraulic tipper arrangement for carrying goods. Additionally, Gujarat Urban Development Urban Housing Department invited a tender for hydraulic garbage e-cart with tipping facility.
In addition to electric vehicle tenders, government agencies also advertised EV charging station tenders, underscoring their commitment to fostering widespread EV adoption and contributing to environmental sustainability, economic growth, and technological advancement. There were 66 tenders specifically dedicated to charging stations. For instance, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in Gujarat issued a tender for the design, construction, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of on-route charging stations to facilitate the charging of electric buses operated by Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited. This initiative encompasses multiple locations across Ahmedabad and includes a two-year Defects Liability Period (DLP). Similarly, the Jalgaon City Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra released a tender for the construction of charging stations at Sagar Park and Bahinabai Udyan in Jalgaon city.
As of January 15, 2024, there are 23 ongoing tenders for battery-operated vehicles across various states. Bihar leads with 96 tenders, making up 41%, followed by West Bengal with 47 tenders (20%). Uttar Pradesh has 31 tenders, Maharashtra has 28, Tamil Nadu has 15, Punjab has 10, and Gujarat has 7 tenders.
This analysis underscores the acquisition of battery-operated vehicles by government agencies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) as part of their efforts to align transportation practices with overarching environmental and sustainability objectives. By embracing cleaner and more efficient alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles, these entities contribute to the increasing acceptance and adoption of electric vehicles as an environmentally friendly and sustainable mode of transportation. Consequently, it is advisable for manufacturers and distributors of battery-operated vehicles to actively monitor and engage in relevant tenders to seize future business opportunities.