2020 went down in Indian motoring history as one that gave vitality to the electric vehicle revolution of India. The Auto Expo saw the birth of dozens of EVs of different sizes and prices from a wide section of automakers and the launch of the Nexon EV and ZS EV led to an encouraging response from Indian car buyers. In this article, we take a look at the upcoming electric cars of India to be launched by December 2021.
Tesla Model 3
The most anticipated electric car launch in India for this year is the Tesla Model 3 that would mark the entry of Tesla in India. The compact Tesla electric car will go up against mid-size luxury sedans Mercedes C-Class, the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 in our market. An ET Auto report in December 2020 had said that pre-bookings will re-open (after opening in April 2016) in January 2021 and the sales will start by June 2021.
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 and the frosty relationship prevalent between the countries, it could be that the American plant would eventually ship the cars out to Indian customers. The Model 3 cars 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 eventually assemble the Model 3 in India at a first-ever Tesla India plant. The company is looking at potential production sites it is reported, with the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat in touch with the American company. The Tesla Model 3 price in India could then be possible between INR 45-55 lakh (ex-showroom). Initially, though, it could be a CBU costing INR 60 lakh (ex-showroom).
M&M launched the Mahindra eKUV100 at the Auto Expo 2020 announcing it at a price of INR 8.25 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi, post-subsidy), making it the most affordable electric car in India to-be. However the pandemic 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 Mahindra electric car would be launched in three months time. The launch should conclude in the first quarter (by March) 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.
M&M unveiled the near-production Mahindra eXUV300 at the Auto Expo (February 2020) and the model is lined up for launch in the coming financial year. The eXUV300 gets a 350V powertrain that the company dubs as ‘MESMA 350.’ 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 INR 12-14 lakh range (ex-showroom) when it launches in India in late-2021 or early-2022. Mahindra is developing multiple variants of the eXUV300 to suit the needs of different electric vehicle buyers and would source all components from India except the battery cells.
Porsche will release its first fully electric sports car, the Porsche Taycan, in India later this year, having digitally presented the car at the VW Group Media Night last year in New Delhi. 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.
Porsche has appointed Manolito Vujicic as its new brand head for the country, while it has roped in Debosmita Majumder to oversee marketing. The team’s priority would understandably include the launch of the Taycan which is waiting on the wings since 2019.
Spearheading the electric segment for Audi in India is the Audi e-tron. Having already been unveiled locally in 2019, Balbir Singh Dhillon, the head of Audi India, confirmed in October 2020 that the launch date announcement would be made in the coming months and that the company is preparing the 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).
The Audi e-tron will compete with the Mercedes EQC (launched last year) and the Jaguar I-Pace that comes out this March.
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 generate 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.
The Jaguar i-Pace EV400 variant has two electric motors placed at each axle that offer 400 PS of power and 696 Nm of torque that can launch the I-Pace from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds.
The Jaguar I-Pace is available to pre-book now and will go on sale in March. It is expected to be priced at around INR 1 crore (ex-showroom). 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 electric car in India in three trims: S, SE and HSE. The first unit of the Jaguar electric car landed at the Mumbai Port just earlier this week to complete local testing.
Mahindra Atom (Quadricycle)
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 around April this year, as confirmed by Dr Pawan Goenka at a media roundtable in late October. It is expected to be priced at about INR 3.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
The Mahindra Atom is targeted as a green 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 EV
Based on the versatile ALFA (Agile Light Flexible Advanced) architecture and Ziptron technology, the Tata Altroz EV is a premium zero-emission hatchback that is officially confirmed to launch this year. An ET Auto report indicated that the Tata electric car would be in showrooms in the second half of the year. Powered by the same ZIPTRON powertrain as the Nexon EV, the Altroz Electric has been seen testing 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 could lead to a 250 km range in the real world on the Altroz. 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 INR 10-12 lakh (ex-showroom) with variants for city & long-distance use customers.
2021 Hyundai Kona EV
Last year, a new Hyundai Kona Electric facelift was unveiled. The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric comes with a notably revised exterior with new lights, wheels, bumpers, and closed-off grille. This new model with a cleaner and funkier design should reach India by end of the year.
While the old model is not imported with the internationally available 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the new one could get the most recent updates including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also new in the 2021 Kona is a 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster and ambient lighting.
The motor and battery packs of the Hyundai Kona Electric have remained unchanged. However, the new model may come with an updated BMS that ensures that the vehicle doesn’t face fire risks or breakdowns. Expect the new model to cost about Rs. 24 lakh (ex-showroom) when it hits the market in late-2021.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the 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 this year. Frump said that he expects 50 per cent or more of Volvo cars sold in India would be electric vehicles by 2025. It is likely that the XC40 Recharge would be assembled at the company’s plant near Bengaluru and launch at a mouth-watering price of Rs 45-50 lakh (ex-showroom).
Electric cars launched in limited locations in India
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.
Mercedes says it is encouraged by the response to the launch of its first electric car.
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).
Tata Motors rolled out the 1000th Nexon EV from its plant in Pune in August 2020, delivering it to N Chandrasekharan, the chairman of Tata Motors, with a special badge. It has sold over 2600 units of the Nexon EV last 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.
Last year, the MG ZS EV completed the Delhi-Agra journey in a single charge. While the Tata Nexon EV sales in 2020 stood at 2,602 units, the more expensive MG ZS EV managed to find 1,243 customers.
Hyundai Kona EV
The Hyundai Kona Electric was the car that launched the long-range segment in India. Priced currently from 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.