Tata Motors plans to have an electric powertrain option in more cars moving forward. The Tata Tigor EV and the Tata Nexon EV are just the beginning. The company expects electric variant of its cars to account for up to 10% of their sales in some segments.
Speaking to CNBCTV18.com recently (via Twitter.com), Shailesh Chandra, President, Tata Motors (PVBU), revealed that the company expects some electric variants to account for 5-10% of the model sales in the near future. In the case of the Tata Nexon, of the 5,000-6,000 cars sold every month, approximately 300 units are equipped with the Ziptron electric powertrain. The Nexon EV is accounting for about 5% of the Tata Nexon sales during the pandemic and sales are expected to grow now that the lockdown is lifted and the festive season is upon India.
Expected to come at considerably lower prices compared to the Tata Nexon EV, the upcoming electric cars from Tata Motors, the Tata Altroz EV and Tata HBX EV (TBA) will have the responsibility of making EV business more mainstream for Tata Motors. For the same reason, their share in their respective car line may be higher than in the case of the Tata Nexon EV.
Tata Altroz EV & HBX EV likely to launch in multi-range variants
For ensuring affordability as well as offering versatility, Tata Motors is likely to offer its future electric cars like the Tata Altroz EV and Tata HBX EV in multiple range variants. That’s what Chandra hinted in an interview with ET Now (published on Youtube.com) earlier this month, though only the former is a confirmed launch. This would allow the company to cater to different types of customers with the same product. Chandra is confident that the falling battery costs will allow the company to offer that versatility and target the same EV at different types of customers. Here is what he said about this matter:
Going forward, as the battery prices will come down, there will be a greater ability of the manufacturers to give more range choices. See, it has to be mapped to a different set of customers. Some customers will just do city driving and they are comfortable with a certain range, and some want to do highway driving, use it for excursion and all which require a higher range. So, you’ll see that customers might get options so that depending on what is their specific use case, they can absolutely tie up to that.Shailesh Chandra, President, Tata Motors (Passenger Vehicles)
EVs today typically come in multiple battery and/or motor configurations, and we’ve seen Tata Motors do that for the Tata Tigor EV. The new MG ZS EV is going down this road in 2022 with a 500 km max-range variant in the pipeline. The Mahindra eXUV300 arriving next year would include multiple range options as well. In the case of Tata Motors, the strategy is bifurcated at the powertrain level, with Electra EV used for economical models and the advanced ZIPTRON employed in segments where customer aspirations are high. Chandra told ElectricVehicleWeb at the Auto Expo that Electra EV is serving the company well in the Tigor EV which is mainly for fleets.
This is something we have done in fleets also, if you see as far as Tigor EV is concerned we came with two ranges because we saw that in smaller cities, fleets were okay with smaller range cars. You will see more options coming to the customers, as far as you know the range is concerned.Shailesh Chandra, President, Tata Motors (Passenger Vehicles)
The Tata Altroz EV celebrated its world premiere at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and made its Indian debut at Auto Expo 2020. The version at the Swiss show was a near-production concept, and the version at the Indian event looked closer to the final product. Both had a 0-80% fast-charging time of 60 minutes and a targeted range of 250-300 km. The market launch of Tata Altroz EV in India will happen in 2021 and by then it is expected that further electrical components of the vehicle would be localized.
The Tata HBX petrol launch was scheduled in the middle of this year but it is facing a delay because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Tata HBX EV is likely to follow in 2022 and could become the most affordable electric car in the country or thereabout. The Tata electric car will compete with the Mahindra eKUV100 that is to go on sale by the end of this month and the first Maruti electric car, the Wagon R-based EV.