14 Electric cars to watch out for in India in 2020 & 2021 – Mahindra eKUV100 to Porsche Taycan

The year 2020 would be remembered as the one that gave vitality to the electric vehicle revolution in India. The Auto Expo 2020 saw the birth of dozens of EVs of different sizes and prices from a wide section of automakers. Let’s have a look at the upcoming electric cars of India to be launched in 2020 and 2021.

Note that several timetables have changed due to the pandemic and the launches of the eKUV100, I-Pace, e-tron, etc are pushed back.

Tesla Model 3

Base Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus white front quarters
The Tesla Model 3 is the most eagerly awaited new electric car in India with Elon Musk confirming Tesla’s local launch in 2021.

The most anticipated EV launch in India for 2021 is the Tesla Model 3 that would mark the entry of Tesla in India. It will go up against mid-size luxury sedans Mercedes C-Class, the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 in our market.

Tesla makes the Model 3 at Gigafactories in Fremont and Shanghai. The latter produces the EV at a lower cost, including an exclusive Lithium Iron Phosphate battery variant. Given India’s recent geopolitical tensions with China following a military standoff at the border this year and the frosty relationship between the countries, it could be that the American plant would eventually ship the cars. The Model 3s made in the USA have up to 580 km range, up to 261 km/h top speed and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 3.3 seconds.

Tesla may assemble the Model 3 in India at a first-ever Tesla India plant. The company is looking at potential production sites right now it is reported, with the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat in touch with the American company. It may price the Model 3 in India between INR 45-55 lakh (ex-showroom).

Mahindra eKUV100

Mahindra eKUV100

M&M launched the Mahindra eKUV100 at the Auto Expo 2020 and has priced the car from Rs.8.25 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi, post-subsidy), making it the most affordable electric car in India. However the pandemic has delayed production, bookings and the start of customer deliveries.

At the launch of the Mahindra Treo Zor in late October, Dr Pawan Goenka of Mahindra provided an update on the eKUV. The Managing Director confirmed that the eKUV would be launched in three months time. Bookings are now expected to begin in December with the car targeting the fleet segment as well as second car buyers who need a vehicle for the city.

The Mahindra eKUV100 is powered by a 40 kW (53.6 hp) electric motor, producing a torque of 120 Nm and drives the front wheels. The eKUV100 offers a range of 147 km in a single charge and can be charged to 80 per cent in just one hour through DC fast charging. Mahindra has also confirmed that the eKUV100 can be pre-cooled, can be remotely switched on and off, and will have digitally connected features that will be revealed closer to the launch.

Mahindra eXUV300 Electric

Mahindra eXUV300

M&M unveiled the near-production Mahindra eXUV300 at the Auto Expo 2020 and the model is lined up for launch in late-2021. The eXUV300 gets a 350V powertrain that the company dubs as ‘MESMA.’ The XUV300 electric will go on to become Mahindra’s first high-voltage, high-performance SUV meaning it can challenge a petrol powered SUV with its features, performance and range.

The underlying Mahindra’s MESMA platform, a modular architecture that supports efficient EV powertrains, will have the eXUV300 go up against the Tata Nexon EV with a range of 375 km to a charge. The eXUV300 also features a larger pop-up style touchscreen AVN and wireless mobile phone charger. The price is expected in the Rs.12-14 lakh range (ex-showroom) when it launches in India in late-2021 or early-2022.

Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan 4S
Porsche Taycan is the first production vehicle to get a system voltage of 800 volts utilizes a massive 93.4 kWh battery pack. The car can be charged to 80% in 22.5 minutes and can be charged for a 100 km range from a high-power charging network in just over 5 minutes. The Taycan offers a range of up to about 450 km.

As per the update we received from before the Coronavirus shutdown, Porsche India will release its first fully electric sports car, the Porsche Taycan, in late 2020, which is now expected in 2021. The four-door sports saloon is the first to get a system voltage of 800V and the car uses a 93.4 kWh battery pack. It can be charged to 80% in just 22.5 minutes in ideal conditions and can be charged for a range of 100 km from a high power charging network in just over 5 minutes.

The Taycan can be opted with ranges up to about 450 km (279 miles in the WLTP measurement). The top-spec Porsche Taycan Turbo S can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, onto a top speed of 260 km/h. It is set to become India’s most expensive electric car at a price of around Rs.2.5 crore.

India would receive the 2021 Porsche Taycan, which packs several upgrades over the launch model. 22 kW AC charging (up from 11 kW), Plug & Charge, colour head-up display and Smartlift chassis are some of the noteworthy changes in the new Porsche Taycan.

Audi e-tron

Audi e-tron
The Audi e-tron is powered by a 95 kWh battery mounted beneath the passenger compartment that feeds two electric motors. The combined output of up to 300 kW enables the e-tron to reach 100 km/h from standstill in just 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 200 km/h and a driving range of up to 385 km.

Spearheading the electric segment for Audi in India is the Audi e-tron. Having already been unveiled locally last year, Balbir Singh Dhillon, the head of Audi India, confirmed in October that the launch date announcement would be made in a few weeks time and that the company is now preparing its dealership network for the launch of the Audi electric car.

The e-tron is powered by a 95 kWh battery mounted beneath the passenger compartment that feeds two electric motors, one on each axle. The combined output of up to 300 kW enables the e-tron to reach 100 km/h from standstill in just 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 200 km/h and a driving range of 436 km (WLTP). With the help of fast DC charging stations at up to 150 kW, the e-SUV can be recharged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes. Expect the e-tron to cost north of Rs.1 crore (ex-showroom).

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace
The I-Pace is powered by a 90 kWh battery to deliver a range of 470 km. 80% of the battery can be charged in just 40 minutes using a 100 kW DC rapid charger.

Jaguar’s electric SUV, I-Pace, delivers sports car performance combined with five-seat SUV practicality. A 90 kWh Lithium-ion battery uses 432 pouch cells to deliver a range of 470 km (WLTP). 80% of the battery can be charged in just 40 minutes using a 100 kW DC rapid charging while a 7 kW home charger can do the same in just over 10 hours.

Initially, there was only one variant, called EV400. EV400 has two electric motors placed at each axle offer 400 PS of power and 696 Nm of torque that can launch the I-Pace from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.

The Jaguar I-Pace, when it comes to India in early 2021, is expected to be priced at around the Rs.1 crore mark. Jaguar Land Rover India has partnered with Tata Power to set up a basic network of fast chargers for its customers. JLR will offer the Jaguar I-Pace in India in three trims: S, SE and HSE.

First Maruti electric car

Maruti Suzuki Wagon R EV
Maruti Suzuki began testing 50 prototypes of the Japanese spec Wagon R electric in 2018 and its first electric car is expected to get a real-world range of 150 km. It will come with fast-charging capability to be charged to 80% in just an hour and a 7-hour charging period with normal AC supply.

MSIL has been seen testing the Maruti Wagon R EV (the Japanese version) since 2018 and a crossover-styled product based on the Heartect platform based on the Indian Wagon R has already been developed. While the company was planning to launch the car in 2020, the release has been pushed back to 2021 citing poor charging infrastructure and high battery cost.

Maruti Suzuki began testing 50 prototypes of Wagon R electric in 2018 and is expected to get a real-world range of 130 – 180 km. Though no details of the powertrain are available, the EV is believed to be equipped to have the fast-charging capability to be charged to 80% in just an hour and a 7-hour charging period with normal AC supply. Expect the Wagon R EV to be priced around the Rs.9 lakh mark with a real world driving range of around 150 km.

Mahindra Atom (Quadricycle)

Mahindra Atom Electric

Previewed by a realistic concept at the 2018 Auto Expo, the production Mahindra Atom, M&M’s first quadricycle, was unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo and will go on sale by April 2021 at a price of around INR 3.5 lakh. Mahindra Atom is targeted as a greener alternative for regular auto-rickshaws and has a top speed of 50 km/h. Intended to be the electric urban mobility solution for last-mile connectivity needs, the Atom is built on a unique monocoque body, shares a few components from Treo electric auto-rickshaw and comes equipped with 4G ready connectivity system.

Tata Altroz Electric

Tata Altroz EV

Based on the versatile ALFA (Agile Light Flexible Advanced) architecture and Ziptron technology, the all-new Tata Altroz EV is a premium car that is confirmed to launch in 2021. Powered by the same ZIPTRON powertrain as the Tata Nexon EV, the Altroz EV has been spotted testing earlier on the Indian roads. The car comes with a battery that powers a 300-volt AC motor which is mated with a single-speed gearbox.

The ZIPTRON powertrain has a range of about 250 km in the real world. The IP67-rated battery packs make use of the lithium-ion cells, making them dustproof and waterproof. The battery charges from 0 to 80 per cent in 60 minutes through a DC fast charger. The Tata Altroz EV’s battery pack is caged in high strength steel as well as utilizes liquid-cooling. Expect it to be priced between Rs.10-12 lakh (ex-showroom)

Tata HBX Electric a.k.a Tata Hornbill Electric

Tata HBX Concept front three quarter view

Tata’s Maruti Ignis challenger is currently in the final stages of development and was showcased at the Auto Expo as the near-production Tata HBX. An Economic Times report said that following the Tata Altroz EV, the company will unleash the Tata Hornbill EV (codename) for a price of less than Rs.10 lakh. The Hornbill electric will receive the Ziptron technology that gives it a high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery and powerful permanent-magnet AC motor to leave it with a 300+ km driving range (under ARAI test conditions).

The Hornbill is set to become the most affordable long-range Tata electric vehicle when it reaches showrooms within 2 years.

Renault Kwid Electric

Renault Kwid electric (Renault K-ZE)

The Renault Kwid Electric (Renault City K-ZE) is very likely the first Renault electric car in India, and could be the cheapest Electric Car in India as well when it arrives in showrooms around 2022. It retains the core strengths of the Kwid which include the 184 mm ground clearance, the 2,423 mm wheelbase and 300-litre boot capacity.

Currently available in China, and is to be launched in Europe next year as the Dacia Spring, the Kwid Electric is powered by a 26.8 kWh Li-Ion battery and a 33 kW electric motor that gives it a range of 271 km (NEDC rated). The top speed is limited to 105 km/h. The electrified Kwid in fast charge, takes 50 minutes to charge from 0% to 80%, and in slow charge, it consumes 4 hours to reach 100% capacity. The K-ZE does not miss out on features, offering an 8-inch multi-functional LCD touch screen, and features like Tyre Pressure Monitoring, reverse camera and a fully digital instrument binnacle.

Haima Bird Electric EV1

Haima Bird Electric EV1 electric car

At the Auto Expo 2020, Chinese automaker Haima Automobile, in partnership with Bird Electric, unveiled its first electric car for India, Bird Electric EV1, which will be priced at Rs.10 lakh on-road. Haima will be manufacturing the EV1 in partnership with Bird Electric at the plant in Manesar, Haryana. The EV1 will be offered in two variants – one with a range of 200 km per charge and another with a 300 km range. The car was expected to roll out in the second half of 2021 but the project could be delayed due to COVID-19 and the prevailing geopolitical tensions with China.

The Bird Electric EV1 comes fitted with a 20.42 kWh or a 28.5 kWh battery according to the variant and produces a power of 30 kW and a torque of 95 Nm or 150 Nm. The EV1 can achieve a top speed of 120 km/h and the battery can be charged to full capacity in 9 to 11 hours.

New Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift front quarters

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric comes with a notably revised exterior with new lights, wheels, bumpers and closed-off grille. The new electric SUV features an upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto and multiple Bluetooth connections, new, 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster, and ambient lighting.

Hyundai has confirmed that the new Kona Electric will carry forward the powertrain of the old model. Expect to see it in India by the end of 2021.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volvo XC40 Recharge

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is Chinese-owned Swedish brand’s first pure electric car and the first model to appear in the new ‘Recharge’ car line concept. Based on the XC40, the XC40 Recharge features an all-wheel-drive system with two motors, one on each axle and a 78 kWh battery.

The XC40 Recharge gets a range of over 400 km (WLTP) on a single charge and output of 408 hp. The battery charges to 80% of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system. XC40 Recharge can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180 km/h. It also becomes the first Volvo to get an infotainment system powered by Android, with built-in Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store.

Charles Frump, MD, Volvo Car India, has confirmed that the launch of the Volvo XC40 Recharge (Volvo XC40 Electric) in India will take place in the second half of 2021. Frump said that he expects 50 per cent or more of Volvo cars sold in India would be electric vehicles.

Electric cars launched in limited locations in India

Mercedes EQC India showroom
The ‘EQ’ brand was launched in India with the EQC on 8 October 2020. The Mercedes electric SUV costs INR 99.30 lakh (ex-showroom).

Mercedes EQC

Mercedes-Benz India has launched the Mercedes GLC Class – the Mercedes EQC – at a price of INR 99.30 lakh (ex-showroom). Only 50 units are on offer at this price, though, and the next batch, if announced, could carry a higher price. The EQC is powered by two asynchronous motors that develop 408 PS and 760 Nm of torque. The motor draws supply from an 80 kWh Li-Ion battery pack that gives a range (NEDC) of 471 km. The company has said that through the EQC it wants to establish luxury electric motoring in India.

Tata Nexon EV

Tata Nexon electric car

Tata Motors launched the Nexon EV priced from Rs.13.99 lakh ex-showroom, making it India’s most affordable electric SUV, undercutting the MG ZS EV. The Nexon EV is available in three variants – XM, XZ+ and XZ+ LUX – priced at Rs.13.99 lakh, Rs 15.25 lakh and Rs 16.25 lakh ex-showroom respectively. The Nexon EV is available across 60 dealerships in 22 cities. The e-SUV gets a 30.2 kWh battery that drives a permanent magnet synchronous motor that produces a torque of 245 Nm and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. With a regular charger, the Nexon EV takes 8 hours to be fully charged and only 60 minutes with a fast charger. On a single charge, it will return a range of 312 km (ARAI-certified).

Recently Tata Motors rolled out the 1000th Nexon EV from its plant in Pune, delivering it to N Chandrasekharan, the chairman of Tata Motors, with a special badge.

MG ZS EV
The MG ZS EV features a water-cooled 44.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers a front-mounted electric motor delivering 105 kW of power and 353 Nm of instant torque. MG has received more bookings for the ZS (2,409) than the combined sales of electric cars last fiscal year.

MG ZS EV

The MG ZS EV that has been launched in 21 cities in 2 variants, features a water-cooled 44.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers a front-mounted electric motor delivering 105 kW of power and 353 Nm of instant torque. The ZS EV can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 140 km/h. The battery, which has a range of 340 km, supports 5-way charging infrastructure and fast charging with which it can be charged to 80% in 50 mins. The MG ZS EV comes with a 5 years/unlimited km warranty and is expected to become available in more cities in the future.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric was the car that kicked off the long-range electric car era in India. Priced currently at Rs.23.75 lakh (ex-showroom) in 11 cities of India, the Kona Electric is powered by a high-voltage 39.2 kWh advanced lithium-ion polymer battery powering a 136 PS permanent-magnet synchronous motor. It develops 40.27 kgm of torque directed to the front wheels and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.7 seconds. The Kona returns a range of 452 km in a single charge and can be charged to 80% capacity in 57 minutes with a 50 kW DC fast charger.

Also See: Top 9 Upcoming Electric Scooter models in India for 2020