Olectra Greentech Ltd, a manufacturer of electric buses, said though tepid market conditions have delayed fund-raising for its capex programme, it would complete the process over the next few months, with the aim of having its new electric bus unit ready by the fourth quarter of this fiscal.

The board had approved its proposal to raise Rs 800 crore, which would be spent over 12 months to establish the new electric bus unit on a 150-acre site in Hyderabad.

Its current manufacturing capacity of 1,500 units a year, would increase once its proposed 5,000 units/year greenfield plant, scalable up to 10,000 units/year, becomes operational.

“There is no change in our fund-raising plans. Market conditions were not conducive over the last three months, but things are slowly stabilising now. We are all set to go ahead with the plans and are looking for the best fund-raising opportunity,” said B Sharat Chandra, Chief Financial Officer, Olectra Greentech Ltd, during a Q4FY23 earnings call.

Documentation for the greenfield facility had been completed, and tenders for the same had also been floated. A vendor for construction would be appointed soon.

E-bus order book

The company, which saw its revenue cross the Rs 1,000-crore mark in FY23, said government measures have supported the growth of electric buses. “In just five years since the delivery of the first bus, Olectra has established itself as the leading E-bus OEM in the country,” he said.

The company, which has a technical collaboration with China-based BYD for procurement of e-bus batteries, chassis, components, sub-assemblies, and spare parts, had delivered over 1,100 till March 31, 2023. Its order book of 3,394 electric buses as of March 31, 2023, would be executed over the next 12-18 months.

Olectra manufactures and sells buses to its SPV, Evey Trans Private Ltd (Evey), which would operate buses for State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs).

Explaining SRTU contracts, he said an escrow mechanism had been put in place and two months’ fee had to be deposited in it. “They are able to receive 70-80 per cent of the receivables within 30-45 days. They can collect the balance before 90 days,” he added.

Olectra secured its first private e-bus order from Fresh Bus for supply of 19 e-buses for intercity operations. Fresh Bus would operate the e-buses between Bengaluru and Tirupati.

Electric tippers

Meanwhile, the company has received a CMVR and Homologation certificate, and has started selling electric tippers from Q4FY23. Besides an order for 20 e-tippers. it has delivered 17 tippers, which are used in mines and project sites. As of now, except for the battery cells and powertrain components, all other parts are localised.

Going forward, the company, which is part of Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), will focus on introducing new product lines in the electric bus and tipper segments. In FY24, Olectra Greentech plans to sell at least 1,200-1,500 electric buses and tippers.