How Tata Group entities came together to power up the EV ecosystem

Venkatesh Ganesh Mumbai | Updated on January 29, 2020

Tata Power will bring in knowhow; Tata Chemicals battery technology

Tata Power, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals have come together to give a push to the electric vehicles segment.

“With the coming together of all Group companies, we see a new wave of opportunities,” said Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors. The opportunity is a no-brainer with governments incentivising auto makers with subsidies and driving policies such as banning the sales of internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered two-wheelers and three-wheelers in highly polluted cities, scrapping old vehicles and enforcing stringent emission norms to give a fillip for EV adoption.

Putting things in place

However, what is interesting is to note is the ecosystem play announced by the Tatas. As Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran in his opening address said: “It is not just about selling more cars but putting together the whole ecosystem, with economies of scale.”

In some ways, this makes the Tatas’ push into EV a differentiated play, when stacked up against competition. From charging to the end-user buying experience, Tata group companies come into play.

So, Tata Power will bring knowhow and domain knowledge for all formats such as home, public and fleet charging.

Similarly, Tata Chemicals and Auto Components will provide the battery technology localisation and powertrain systems, respectively, while Tata Motor Finance has chalked out vehicle financing options. Others like Titan, TCS, Tata Technologies have lent their hand in components, software and design. “Without this infrastructure, even the best looking car can’t sell,” said Guenter Butschek CEO and MD, Tata Motors.

Circular economy concept

In line with this, Tata Chemicals has lined up everything to kickstart the EV ecosystem. For example, it is building an energy storage system facility for mobility and stationary charging, with labs in Pune and Chennai. “We are working on a circular economy concept, wherein we will manufacture battery, cells and in the end recycle them and take out chemicals like Cobalt which can go into building Lithium Ion batteries,” said R Mukundan, MD and CEO, Tata Chemicals.

Investments of ₹800 crore have been lined up besides a cell manufacturing plant in Dholera, wherein 300 MW to 2 GW of energy storage capacity is planned. To put it in context, India doesn’t have lithium ion manufacturing capacity.

Charging points

On the charging infrastructure side, Tata Power will take up the ownership — from installing charging stations to supplying power. “We have the knowhow for all charging formats — for home, public and fleet. Additionally, we will have (charging) stations in 650 locations in a year’s time,” said Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power. The company will install charging points in households as well as commercial locations.

Tata Motors is also looking at a new way of vehicle financing EVs. “We are exploring bullet financing options wherein for a loan of 48 months, the EMIs for first 46 months will be low and the remaining bulk amount will be paid in the last 2 months,” Samrat Gupta, CEO, Tata Motors Finance.

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Published on January 29, 2020
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