Leading car maker Tata Motors has revealed that its upcoming electric cars/SUVs will come with a higher range – upwards of 500 km — in order to address the range concerns of prospective buyers and also pave the way for hassle-free inter-city travel.
Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, told businessline that the company has chalked out a two-pronged strategy to come out with electric cars/SUVs with higher range, going forward.
“As the battery prices are coming down, Tata Motors seeks to take advantage of price reduction opportunity to increase the range in its EVs and also change the type of the vehicles from Generation 1 platform to Generation 2 platform. There will be a deeper focus on maximising utilisation of battery pack energy to accommodate more range.
“You will start seeing higher range vehicles such as Punch ev, Harrier ev, and Curvv. The range of these vehicles will be 500-plus km so that customers need not worry about charging when they travel for long distances amid improving charging infrastructure on highways,” he said.
The company recently introduced its new Nexon EV with a range of 465 km, an increase of 12 km over the previous variant.
Discussing the current electric car market trends, Chandra said the demand for EVs should have gone up tremendously if we had two things in place – higher range and charging infrastructure.
Earlier, there were about four barriers to EV adoption — price, choice, range, and charging infra. I think the price has come to a level that is not that big a deal as e-cars are now offered at ₹8.5 lakh. Choice is also no longer an issue, as there are a reasonable number of vehicles in different price brackets. When it comes to range, the improvement of range in EVs to 300-400 km has given some degree of comfort. So, with this range, city drive is no longer an issue. In outside city travel, there is an anxiety over range as there is not adequate charging infra on highways. But with some proper planning, electric car or SUV customers have no more range anxiety.
“I think if we are able to come out with high-range vehicles, it will create more comfort for the customers and support the growth in volumes over the short-medium term. But for long-term volume, growth will be driven only by the availability of adequate charging stations. We have done some basic level of work through Tata Power. But to bring a critical mass, the biggest participants — oil marketing companies (OMCs) – have to ramp up the charging stations as per the government mandate. Because the logical place for EV charging on the highways is the fuel outlets of OMCs,” said Chandra.
He said the company’s total EV volumes in the September 2023 quarter stood at about 19,000 units amid production ramp-down for Nexon ev. It achieved the highest-ever quarterly volumes at 19,300 units in Q1 of this fiscal.