Electric bus makers seek payment security

The government’s efforts to electrify bus mobility across the country could hit a speed bump as manufacturers have started losing interest due to absence of payments assurances

in tenders. For example, Tata Motors, India’s biggest bus maker, did not take part in the ongoing ₹30,800 crore phase-I of the National Electric Bus Programme (NEBP)

comprising 6,465 electric buses, steered by the government-controlled Convergence Energy Service (CESL). The move came as a surprise since Tata Motors won two-thirds of

the previous tenders last year where it committed to supply 3600 electric buses. Also read: Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India inaugurates BigWing outlet in Noida

In an interaction with FE, a senior official of the Mumbai-headquartered company said that unless a secured payment mechanism is established, which would address the concerns

of the participating companies, it would rather sit out from all future tenders. Girish Wagh, executive director, Tata Motors said, “After the first tender, we have been

in discussions with the government about having a payment security mechanism by which the whole model becomes bankable. We made our position very clear a number of times that

unless we have the payment security mechanism, we won’t participate.” A payment security mechanism is essentially a payment security fund that provides interest-free

capital in case of default in payments.