Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises is set to make a big-ticket entry into electric buses manufacturing, at least three people in know of the development said.

The group, which plans to set up a manufacturing base in its special economic zone at Mundra in Gujarat, is in talks with a Taiwanese electric bus maker for technological tieup, these people said. Experts believe that Adani's entry, along with a foreign player, will change the dynamics of the Indian electric buses segment that has limited players.

Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, JBM Group and Mahindra & Mahindra are among the other players in the Indian e-bus market. China’s BYD has marked its presence in the newly-opened Indian e-bus market in tie-up with Hyderabad-based Goldstone Infratech. An Adani spokesperson said the company does not comment on market speculations.

“Adani plans to set up a manufacturing facility in its Mundra SEZ. It plans to cater to the Indian and export markets, including Africa and the Middle East, through the facility,” a person close to the development said. The company is closely looking at battery swapping model, he said.

“The companies have begun an analysis of the Indian and potential overseas markets. Looking at the priorities of the country to shift to electric fleet, the potential is expected to be huge,” another source said. Joy Nandi, advisor at Blue Canopy Consultants, said the electric bus market in India is just starting and is dominated by state government tenders.

“There is no clear winner so far apart from BYD and Tata Motors. Others are yet to showcase their products and there’s enough space in the market for new entrants,” he said. Nandi said an established player such as Adani can overcome most market barriers as long it has figured out the import routes.

Recently, Tata Motors and Goldstone-BYD bagged nine of the 10 contracts, part-funded by the Centre by placing winning bids at 30% lower than the market price. The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is working on the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, which offers a slew of incentives to manufacturers of electric vehicles for public transport, battery manufacturers and charging infrastructure developers.

The policy proposes to extend Rs 2,500-crore subsidy support to the electric buses segment in the next three years. The draft Fame-II policy provides incentives for purchase of bulk batteries for a fleet of above 50. The policy provides for bulk procurement of EVs by agencies such as EESL.

States such as Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Pune are soon likely to come out with bulk e-procurement tenders for electric buses. The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday cleared an electric mobility policy that aims to replace an entire bus fleet with electric tenders by 2030.



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