Tata Motors bullish on electric vehicle market

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

Shailesh Chandra, President – Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy (File photo)

Tata Motors, which unveiled the Nexon EV, its first electric car on Thursday for personal buyers using Ziptron - the company’s new electric vehicle technology platform - is bullish on the nascent EV market.

The overall EV market can attain a penetration of 10-15 per cent in the next 5-6 years, driven by sales in the personal segment too, said Shailesh Chandra, President – Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy.

Currently, electric cars mostly cater to the fleet segment in the country. Only around 1,500 electric cars were sold for personal use in the last eight months, according to Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles.

The Nexon EV is expected to be priced between Rs 15 to 17 lakh when it is launched in January.

As more and more products with a value proposition similar to that of Nexon EV enter the market, the electric cars market will also expand, he said. From the first quarter to the third quarter of this year, the EV market has already grown 2.5-3 times, he said. “So, next year, I believe that there is no reason why the (overall EV) market cannot (be) double the size of today,” Chandra told BusinessLine.

Shift in EV strategy

Tata Motors will also be launching another electric car, Altroz EV, next year.

In September, Tata Motors announced a shift in its EV strategy with a focus on the personal segment by introducing Ziptron.

Ziptron is aimed at finding solutions to common concerns around EVs like range, power, durability, safety and charging infrastructure.

Electric cars for personal buyers will see a steep adoption, as the overall market for automobiles is “heavily skewed” towards the personal segment, with the fleet segment taking up just a small fraction of the market, Chandra explained. He said that the fleet segment only constitutes 10 per cent of the total passenger car market, whereas 90 per cent of the industry caters to the personal segment.

If the government extends the benefits under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles scheme (FAME) to the personal segment as well, the potential for electric cars in the personal segment can be even bigger, he said. Currently, FAME benefits are not applicable to personal buyers of electric cars.

Chandra said that the FAME scheme should be extended to the personal car segment as well, when asked about his expectations from the government to propel sales of electric cars for personal buyers.

Tata Motors’ EV strategy centre around creating optimisation parameters, he said.

“Nexon EV is an example of how you optimize performance, range and price, rather than dialling up significantly on one of them,” he said. He said that with this product, concerns around the range anxiety, price and performance are taken care of.

Tata Motors claimed that the Nexon EV delivers an anxiety free long range of more than 300 km on a single charge. When plugged into a Fast DC Charger, the Nexon EV will replenish 80 per cent battery capacity within 60 minutes. In addition, the Nexon EV can be charged from any 15 amp plug point, it said. The car will come with a warranty of eight years or 1.60 lakh kms - whichever is earlier - on battery and motor.

“It is a value proposition which is well packaged to really trigger excitement among consumers. Because otherwise, for any other offering (until now), there was compromise on one (factor) or the other. This (Nexon EV) is the first real package, I would say, which has been thought through from a consumer perspective. It is not a cut-pasted solution. We have attempted to do the right thing, thinking from a consumer mindset,” said Chandra.

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Published on December 20, 2019
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