Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is a company owned by the Government of India and among other things it buys electric vehicles for the use if government officials. A lot of excitement was generated in the automotive industry when the government of India declared its intent to purchase 10,000 electric cars to replace the petrol and diesel cars used by the officials. Two companies, Tata Motors with its e-Tigor and Mahindra and Mahindra with the e-Verito participated in the bids. Though Tata Togor was the cheaper of the two at between 9.99 Lakhs and 10.09 Lakhs as compared to between INR 13.17 and 13.25 Lakhs for the Verito, the contract was shared between both the companies. The Tigor has a range of 142 km and Verito of 140 km.
However, the babus were not very happy with the range as it did not allow for inter-city travel. They also complained that the actual range was a lowly 80 km and the air conditioning was not sufficient to keep them cool. Step in the Hyundai Kona, an electric SUV from Hyundai at more than double the price of INR 23.17 Lakhs. However, the Kona has a 39.2 KW-H battery, more than twice the 16.2 KW-H battery of the Tigor. The Kona has a claimed range of 400 km, is much larger and more comfortable than the Verito and Tigor.
Till date, Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors have delivered only 1,500 cars, 1,000 Veritos and 500 Tigors. EESL has also reduced the target order from 10,000 to 3,000 cars. The government has decided to add the Kona to its fleet to complement the 1,500 existing cars.