ICE, EVs not foes; they’ll coexist: Tata Motors CEO

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 19, 2019 Published on September 19, 2019

Guenter Butschek, MD & CEO, Tata Motors   -  Kamal Narang

There is no confusion, and no reason for confusion regarding internal combustion engines and electric vehicles, as ICE and EV will coexist at least for another decade or even beyond, said Guenter Butchsek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors Ltd. Tata Motors is working on multiple products with the intention of making EVs mainstream and aspirational, he said.

He added that he personally doesn’t know “why it is so difficult to give the message that ICE and EV are not each other’s enemies” and that it can peacefully coexist for at least another decade, and that this message has not come across clearly yet. “We need to make people understand that this is not a conflict as far as mobility is concerned. It is just two different sides of the same coin,” he reiterated.

“We don’t shy away from the need that the faster adaptation of the electric is a question of the ecosystem and it requires the private sectors’ commitment to build this ecosystem and this is what we are doing as a venture, as a player: connecting aspirations,” said Butchsek.

Tata Motors intends to offer a comprehensive range of EVs and other ecosystem solutions using Tata Motors’ in-house capabilities, coupled with Tata Group companies’ expertise and ongoing collaboration with other ecosystem players, said Butchsek. These products would be globally contemporary and set a high standard for electric vehicles in India, he added.

“Electrification is a much larger play and it goes beyond automotive. Sometimes, I actually feel it is the smallest part, when it comes to it, because it requires the development and set-up of a comprehensive ecosystem, and this is the larger playing.” he said, adding that in order to have a cost attractive electric proposition, a higher local content is needed. Localisation of components will have a positive cost impact, he said.

More affordable

With the recent FAME 2 incentives and GST reductions, electric vehicles have become more affordable and are poised to achieve mainstream adoption, he said.

Apart from the confusion regarding the question of ICE and EV, he pointed out that there is also the question of the continuance of diesel vehicles post the transition to the BS-6 emission norms, set to be enforced from April 1, 2020 onwards. Taking into consideration the high acquisition cost of lower displacement diesel vehicles (below 1.5 litres), its share will possibly be reduced, he said.

He also said that a reduction in the GST rates, which the industry has long been demanding, will surely have a positive effect, drawing a parallel to how it helped back in 2008, when the industry was privy to a slowdown.

Published on September 19, 2019
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