As a part of the central government’s electric vehicle (EV) procurement programme run by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), the authority has reportedly placed initial orders for Hyundai’s recently launched long-range SUV Kona electric.
Hyundai’s Kona comes with a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and can go up to 400 Km on a single charge. The EVs, which were launched in July 2019, can also go at a top speed of 167 km/hr. The car was initially launched at a price of INR 25.3 Lakh, but after Hyundai cut down the cost by INR 1.58 Lakh, they are being sold at INR 23.71 Lakh.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Kona could only sell up to 130 cars in August 2019 because of its high price.
What Other EVs Is The Government Using?
Currently, the government procures from Tata Motors Ltd’s Tigor and Mahindra and Mahindra’s (M&M) e-Verito electric sedan, which is way cheaper than Hyundai’s Kona.
Tata Motor’s Tigor comes in two variants and is ranged between INR 9.99 Lakh to INR 10.09 Lakh. The EV comes with 16.2 kWh battery packs and can go up to 142 Km as per Tata’s claims. However, a report suggests that the car can only cover about 100 Km on a single charge, which takes more than 6 hours.
Mahindra and Mahindra’s e-Verioto comes in three variants — D2, D4 and D6— in a range of INR 13.17 Lakh to INR 13.53 Lakh. The vehicle can pull up to 140 KM on a single charge and pull up to 86 KM per hour.
The energy efficiency services limited (EESL) had placed the order to procure 10K EVs from these companies in September 2017. So far, Tata Motors and M&M have delivered 500 Tigors and 1000 e-Veritos, respectively. By ordering in more Kona, EESL is now planning to limit the final order to around 3,000 cars by March 2020, according to the Mint.
Why Hyundai’s Kona?
The move comes after government officials have raised concerns over the performance and quality issues from the previously procured models. Last year, even the senior government officials had refused to use EVs made by M&M and Tata Motors due to their poor performance and low mileage.
According to senior officials, both models failed to cross even 80-82 Km on a single charge within city limits. The officials also said that the batteries were not up to the global standards.
Moreover, they had raised concerns over Tigor’s AC cooling, pick-up, sudden battery discharge and inability to charge. Although, Tata motors has denied these issues.
In April 2018 EESL had also written to Tata Motors saying that the company is not taking any sincere steps to resolve the issues, causing delay and causing customer dissatisfaction. EESL said, “The performance of Tata Motors is found to be below par and EESL will not accept delivery of any new vehicle till all the issues with the existing cars have been rectified.”