Goldstone Infratech eyes bigger play in India’s electric bus segment

NEW DELHI, Apr 1: Buoyed by bagging of tenders for electric buses from three state transport undertakings (STUs), Goldstone Infratech Ltd (GIL) plans to spread its presence across India by tapping both government and private customers in the next five years, according to a top company official.
The company, which manufactures electric buses through a technical collaboration with China’s BYD Auto Industry Co Ltd, also expects to fully utilise capacity of 2,100 units a year across its two plants in India by 2019-20.
“We have a complete plan to address the market 360 degrees, not just one segment of the market or one territory of the market. We are going across the country, across customers — STUs and private,” GIL Managing Director N K Rawal said.
Bullish on electric buses gaining traction fast in India, he said although right now it is only STUs, more and more private players are beginning to show interest.
“Gradually, this will percolate to that level also,” Rawal said, adding the company has initiated talks with big corporate houses to supply electric buses for their fleet.
On the potential for electric buses in India, he said the bus market in the country is huge at about one lakh units annually.
“Even if we are talking about some portion of that converting into electric buses year-on-year, it is a huge number. In two years, a Rs 10,000-crore market for electric buses would be easily there,” Rawal added.
Commenting on product portfolio expansion, he said,”We have plans to bring different products as the market matures across different segments and on the basis of customer requirements.”
Currently, Goldstone BYD offers two range of buses — eBuzz K7 (9 metre) and eBuzz K9 (12 metre) in India. These models cover up to 250 km at a speed of 70kmph on a single complete charge that takes about 4 hours.
One segment the company is keen to address is inter-city travel with long range electric buses, he added.
GIL has two assembly plants, one near Hyderabad with an annual capacity of 600 units and another upcoming plant at Bidur in Karnataka with a capacity of 1,500 units annually in the first phase, giving it a total capacity of 2,100 units per year.
When asked by when the company expects to fully utilise the capacity, he said,”Right now it is dependent on government policy but we think that this number may come in 2019-20. It could come as soon as that.”
The initial orders will come from STUs, he added.
GIL has bagged orders to supply 100 electric busses to Telangana, 150 to Bengaluru and 40 to Mumbai. (PTI)