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Tata Motors to soon have half-a-dozen EVs

Tata Motors is readying a portfolio of about half-a-dozen vehicles targeted at prospective buyers of EVs.

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2020, 05.11 PM IST
Tata Motors Nexon
The Nexon EV – SUV will be priced at about Rs 15-17 lakh.
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MUMBAI: Tata Motors is readying a portfolio of about half-a-dozen vehicles targeted at prospective buyers of electric vehicles (EVs), seeking to establish an early lead in an automotive segment billed as the future of mobility.

Tata Motors could end FY20 with sales of more than 1,000 electric vehicles. It expects a multi-fold jump in the next two to three years as more affordable EVs, priced below Rs 10 lakh, help expand the portfolio.

Shailesh Chandra, head of Tata Motors’ EV division, said that with the introduction of new models and decline in battery prices, EVs could account for 10-15% of the overall passenger vehicle market by 2025, up from less than 1% now. Experts forecast the Indian market to grow to 4 million units by then, meaning half-a-million EVs could be sold annually then.

“What really creates excitement is a new launch. With new models, personal buyers will go past the fleet segment. Our Nexon EV is on its way. We have already spoken on the Altroz EV and there are other affordable options on the board,” Chandra said, without confirming the number of planned EV launches.

ET learns that after the Altroz EV, the Hornbill or H2X EV is the next offering, and these cars could be priced below Rs 10 lakh.

The company already has two different versions of Tigor, which will be followed by Nexon, Altroz, Hornbill and yet another offering in two-three years.

Tata Motors believes that when the price difference between EVs and conventional engines narrows to about 20-25% from about 40-45% now, the consumer will start switching to EVs. And that is why it plans to price the Nexon EV – SUV at about Rs 15-17 lakh.

Subsidies and tax benefits will play crucial roles in narrowing the price gap between EV and ICE vehicles, Chandra said.

For a fleet buyer getting almost Rs 3 lakh in subsidies and other cumulative benefits in the shape of lower taxes and interest subvention, the prices of a Nexon EV and a top-end diesel Nexon are about the same. But a personal buyer will have to pay a higher price as s/he can’t get subsidy benefits.

According to the EV subsidy policy, the first 35,000 vehicles registered will be entitled for subsidy of Rs 3 lakh, provided the exshowroom price of a car is less than Rs 15 lakh.

Tata Autocomp will make the battery backs, while Tata Chemicals is exploring partnership options to make the cells locally. Meanwhile, Tata Power is setting up charging infrastructure at strategic locations.

To be sure, Tata Motors’ market share fell to 5% in December 2019 compared with 16% a decade ago in the passenger car segment, according to data from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. At present, it enjoys a 30-40% share in the nascent EV segment.
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