Goldstone plans electric bus unit

Earmarks ₹500 cr. for greenfield plant

Published - December 26, 2017 12:30 am IST - MUMBAI

Green pastures:  The plant may come up  in Telangana or in a neighbouring State, according to N.K. Rawal.

Green pastures: The plant may come up in Telangana or in a neighbouring State, according to N.K. Rawal.

Hyderabad-based insulator maker Goldstone Infratech Ltd, having diversified into the electric vehicles (EV) business, is planning to set up a greenfield electric bus manufacturing facility in the south with an investment of ₹500 crore.

“We are already manufacturing electric buses in India,” said N.K. Rawal, MD, Goldstone Infratech. “Now, we plan to make investments in expanding our manufacturing facility. For now, we have earmarked... ₹500 crore, which may be scaled up or down depending on demand,” he added.

He said a greenfield plant was expected to be set up by mid-2018 in Telangana or any neighbouring state.

China partnership

Currently, the company is assembling fully electric buses in India in technical collaboration with BYD of China, the biggest EV manufacturer in the world. Present in 170 countries, BYD sold 115,000 electrical vehicles worldwide in 2016.

“We have capacity to manufacture 500 buses, which is expected to be scaled up to 3,000 units in two to three years as EV adoption increases,” Mr. Rawal said. In Hyderabad, the company has a design and services unit as well as a testing facility. Bus bodies are built through third-party arrangement while most parts are imported from China. He declined to quantify the investment made so far.

The firm has got orders to supply 31 electric buses — 25 from Himachal Roadways and Transport Corporation and six from BEST of Mumbai. Of these, 17 have been delivered.

“We are the only company to have supplied electrical buses for public transportation in India. Our buses are plying on the difficult Manali-Rohtang Pass route, the highest elevated route for any electric bus, without any difficulty,” Mr. Rawal said.

The need for electric vehicles to curb emissions is prompting new players to enter the automotive sector.

“India... adds roughly 1 lakh buses (including replacements) every year. Even if 5% of new additions are replaced in a year, electric bus makers would look at a ₹10,000 crore market in the next three years,” he added.

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