Construction work on the unit – which will have capability to build electric buses as well as other environment-friendly commercial vehicles – will commence shortly. Manvi Jain, director, PMI Group, told ET PMI Electro Mobility is targeting commissioning the facility in the next 12-18 months.
“We have the capacity to manufacture eight buses per day at Dharuhera, which is the largest in the country. Going forward, among others, we want to launch intercity buses and electric trucks. We need scalability, have state-of-the-art infrastructure. We are building the second unit over 33 acres, which will be more than double the size of Dharuhera,” Jain said.
PMI Electro – which has a 70:30 joint-venture with Foton India – has earmarked an investment of Rs 250-300 crore to make operational the first phase of the project. While the initial investment will be made by the promoters using internal resources, talks are on with India-based financial investors to raise additional resources. Beiqi Foton is a technology partner in the project.
PMI Electro’s facility in Chakan will have initial capacity for manufacturing 2500 commercial vehicles per annum which can be increased to 3600 units per annum with minor fine tuning and without any major capex.
“We will focus on manufacturing electric commercial vehicles at Chakan. There is policy support from the government. There is a lot of untapped potential in the space. The only hindrance is charging infrastructure, work towards which has also started happening. We are in discussions on our first product,” Jain said.
As per industry estimates, the demand for buses is likely to be around 300,000 units over the next 3 years. The size of the truck market is seven times that of buses. To be sure,
and have introduced electric vehicles in the small commercial vehicle segment especially focused on last-mile deliveries. But Jain feels there is enough market opportunity.
“Even for medium-sized electric commercial vehicles, there is a lot of demand from FMCG companies,” she said.
In the ongoing financial year, PMI Electro is looking at delivering 1300 buses has orders from various state governments. The company has 22 depots across 14 states including Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal and Odisha.