The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is contributing to government’s green initiative as it floated a Request for Information (RFI) for the first time on Monday to procure 423 electric motorcycles for use by its personnel deployed in plains and semi hilly terrain across the country.
About a year back, the Army had decided to gradually replace a certain percentage of their fossil-fuel dependent vehicles with e-vehicles, from cars, to buses and two wheelers in use at peace locations that are not located at extreme geographical habitat. A few such units would see 25 per cent light vehicles such as cars, 38 per cent buses and 48 per cent two-wheelers like motorcycles switch over to electric mode to curb pollution.
According to the RFI, the electric motorcycle will be capable of transporting two soldiers. “Since the tech is niche, is ever evolving and Indian Army is procuring these vehicles for the first time, the GSQR (General Staff Qualitative Requirements) prepared at this stage shall be amended as per inputs and feedback received post induction and exploitation of the initial lot of electric vehicles in this class,” it pointed out.
Sharing other specification that it wants, the RFI stated that the unladen weight of the e-bike should not exceed 150 kg and not be less than 130 kg. It should have a facility for storage in form of dickeys, with locking arrangements, easily detachable when required, on both sides for keeping documents and stores.
Besides that, it should comply with battery range standard set by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). On full charge, it should run not less than 100 km with full payload under standard conditions, the RFI demanded. The bike’s service life should not be less than 8 years or one lakh km (whichever is earlier) and designed to operate in the temperature range of minus 50 degrees Celsius to over 40 degrees Celsius till 45 degrees Celsius, as per the RFI. The Army would carry out trials during summer and winters of e-bikes before selection.
The Army is also creating enabling infrastructure to ensure that there are enough charging stations for smooth operation on such vehicles at units.