The Tata Nexon EV that caught fire last month ‘was a one-off incident’, according to Tata Motors. The company is now looking to put into shape a plan which will help improve sales of electric vehicles (EVs) by five fold by the end of FY24.

Speaking to shareholders, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Motors, said the idea behind buying the Ford India factory at Sanand, Gujarat, was to enhance the overall production capacity of EVs. “The fire incident was a very one-off, we have formed a dedicated team which is going into the technology to see why the incident occurred. And on the affected vehicle, we need to work with the government and we are engaged on that. We want to go to the root of the problem,” Chandrasekaran said at the 77 th annual general meeting of Tata Motors.

While there was no loss of life or injury reported due to the Nexon EV fire incident, it was the first-ever incident of fire reported in the country involving an electric passenger vehicle. Tata Motors has a near monopoly in the space with a 94 per cent share. The Nexon EV is the largest-selling electric passenger vehicle in India.

Sales target

From sales of less than 1,000 electric cars in FY20, Tata Motors clocked 5,000 units in FY21. The following year, the company sold more than 19,500 electric cars owing to strong demand and improved supply chain situation.

“We want to sell 50,000 (electric) cars this year and 100,000 next year. Safety is a very important element for us. We definitely want to ensure that EVs provide excellent safety features. We are very determined to ensure that such (fire) incidents don’t happen and we build absolutely safe products,” Chandrasekaran added. Unveiled in early May, Tata Motors has received orders of nearly 40,000 units for the electric version of Ace — a four-wheel mini truck.

Fund inflow

Chandrasekaran also talked about the investment Tata Motors received from external investors. “The first tranche of money has been received from TPG and the second tranche will be received by the third quarter of this fiscal. The 11-15 per cent (stake dilution) is based on certain metrics, and we are ahead of the required metrics,” he added.

Besides EVs, Tata Motors will lay continued focus on the petrol- and diesel-powered passenger vehicles, where it is looking to improve output in view of the sustained improvement in demand. “We achieved sales of 370,000 units last year which was a growth from 220,000 units sold in FY21. We touched 45,000 sales in June. I believe we will cross 500,000 this year and we have created a lot of capacity in order to be able to produce the cars to meet the demand,” Chandrasekaran added.