Adani Enterprises has entered the electric mass mobility market, bidding on the current tender issued by state-owned Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) for 3,600 electric buses. Adani and consortium partner EKA Mobility bid on a gross contractual basis for the procurement, supply, operations, maintenance, and development of related electric and civil infrastructure for electric buses as part of the Pradhan Mantri e-bus Sewa program.

Other bidders for the huge tender included JBM Ecolife, Greencell Mobility, and PMI Electro Mobility. EKA Mobility (Pinnacle Industries) gained permission under the Centre’s INR 25,000 crore production-linked incentive plan for the auto and auto component sectors.

Adani Enterprises, EKA Mobility, and CESL did not respond to ET’s inquiries by press time Thursday.

According to people familiar with the matter, Adani Enterprises is the principal partner in the consortium that has bid to supply electric buses for intra-city operations.

“The Centre is keen for public transportation systems to go all-electric and is offering incentives to state governments to establish the necessary infrastructure for effective deployment of electric buses within cities. This includes the installation of transmission lines and civil infrastructure at depots,” stated one of the individuals listed above.

According to the individual, the Centre is mulling incentives of INR 24-27 per kilometre for electric buses under this plan.

The government plans to deploy 10,000 electric buses worth INR 57,613 crore across 169 cities using a public-private partnership model under the PM e-bus Sewa Scheme, which was authorised earlier this fiscal year. The Centre would provide financial support of INR 20,000 crore.

Discussions are underway to replace an additional 800,000 diesel buses with electric ones by the end of the decade, creating significant development prospects for players in the EV ecosystem.

According to industry estimates, INR 1.2-1.5 lakh crore of capital will be required to deploy 100,000 electric buses on the country’s roads. The administration is currently collaborating with stakeholders to develop the framework for achieving these goals.

“Given that consortiums bidding for the offer will have to handle operations, funding, and allied infrastructure, the breadth of the tenders that are being/will be bid out is substantially broader (than past tenders). It is now an infrastructure (development) game, and huge companies (such as Adani) are entering to provide the much-needed size and scale to the EV ecosystem,” a second source added.

Adani’s bid comes after EKA Mobility signed an agreement with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and the Netherlands’ VDL Groep to invest USD 100 million (about INR 830 crore) in EKA to boost the manufacturing of electric buses and light commercial vehicles in India.

In her interim budget statement on February 1, finance minister Sitharaman stated that additional electric buses will be introduced to cut vehicular emissions and achieve the country’s net-zero targets.

“Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks will be encouraged through a payment security mechanism,” the minister went on to say.