Govt-backed CESL to launch online marketplace for electric two-wheelers


Convergence Energy Services (CESL) will start selling electric two-wheelers in a month through an online marketplace with prices lower than what dealers offer, the chief executive of the central government-controlled company said.

The company, a subsidiary of state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), will initially procure about 25,000 battery electric two-wheelers which can be progressively scaled up to 50,000 units. These procurements will be later either offered on lease or sold outright.

Speaking to Moneycontrol Mahua Acharya, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, CESL said, “OEMs are very keen to work with us. We are working to make the two-wheelers accessible and affordable. We will start this in about a month’s time and the final retail price of the two-wheeler will be decided then.”

It is currently testing a new e-commerce website that will offer all electric mobility solutions. “Our prices will be lower than prices offered by the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). The price will be net of all schemes and subsidies (central and state). We are getting a lot of interest already,” Acharya added.

On August 6, CESL issued a tender for procurement of 100,000 electric three-wheelers. A request for proposals has been issued inviting original OEMs to provide quotations. These three-wheelers have different use-cases; garbage disposal, freight loaders, food and vaccine transport and passenger autos.

CESL will lease the vehicles to entities that wish to avail of such leasing services. CESL will also make these E3Ws available through its digital platform for resale to any entity interested in outright purchase. With the availability of different two-wheeler models under different brands at one location the digital platform will enhance and simplify user experience.

“The two-wheelers will be procured by CESL and leased. Those who want to buy from us are welcome to do so. Our first objective is to make the product available to the consumer. We want to be the electronic supermarket for electric two-wheelers,” Acharya added.

India witnessed sales of nearly 1.44 lakh electric two-wheelers during FY21 which was a drop of 5.37 percent compared to 1.52 lakh sold in FY20. More than two-thirds of this (1.03 lakh) came from low-speed models and the balance were high speed models.

While the pandemic punctured demand for electric two-wheelers in FY21, easing of lockdown restrictions and rising price of petrol has fuelled demand in recent weeks.

“We went to our board asking for 10,000 two-wheelers but we have signed a contract for 25,000 already. We can expect the number to grow to 50,000 easily and the curve then picks up from there,” Acharya added.

CESL is already in the process of supplying 25,000 electric two-wheelers to the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) for the state government employees. A similar programme for Kerala will follow for 10,000-15,000 units and for Goa for 15,000 units.

“Delhi has asked us to devise a programme for them to incentivise two-wheelers for college students, young working women and two-wheelers used for delivery. Telangana has also expressed interest and these are large scale interests,” Acharya added.