New Delhi, Oct. 21 -- The Union government has placed initial orders with Hyundai Motor Co. for the Kona compact electric sport utility vehicle.

This comes as the government's largest electric vehicle (EV) procurement programme, run by state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), faces bottlenecks because of issues such as vehicle quality and a lack of demand, according to three government officials.

Power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh, NTPC chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh, and top officials at policy think tank NITI Aayog have started using the Kona which went on sale in July. The SUV is also used by EESL MD Saurabh Kumar.

The preference for the Kona is despite the vehicle's price tag of Rs.23....