By Swaraj Baggonkar
Tata Motors, which is the country’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, will further sharpen its competitive edge over rivals as it plans to launch a compact car later this month priced around `10 lakh, which would be the cheapest by any manufacturer so far in the EV segment.
It already has the cheapest EV in the market with Tata Tigor, which is priced at Rs 12.49 lakh. Offerings by other EV manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia are priced above Rs 20 lakh.
In fact, the leader of small and competitively priced internal combustion engine cars, Maruti Suzuki India has also expressed its inability to come out with an EV priced under Rs 10 lakh. The company is planning to come out with its first EV in 2025.
Upon launch, the new Tiago EV will be the smallest electric vehicle in not just Tata Motors’ line-up but in the whole country. Details such as battery capacity, vehicle power and the exact price will be shared at the time of its launch.
This would be the company’s third Tiago EV model and would be one among 10 models the company has promised to launch by 2026.
The starting price of the petrol version of Tiago is Rs 5.4 lakh. Industry experts said that typically the price of the electric version of a vehicle is nearly double compared to the petrol variant, so the new EV variant of Tiago is likely to be priced around Rs 10 lakh.
The Tiago EV launch announcement by Tata Motors coincides with the World EV Day which is observed on September 9. On the back of just two models – Nexon EV and Tigor EV – Tata Motors has grabbed 88% of the electric passenger vehicle market.
Shailesh Chandra, managing director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, said, “We are proud to lead the EV market in India. As early entrants, we have shaped the market and seen it grow with the Nexon EV and Tigor EV. We have over 40,000 Tata EVs plying on road and we are grateful to the early adopters who have shown faith in the brand.”
In the period between April and August, Tata Motors has sold 17,150 electric vehicles. The company is targeting sales of 50,000 EVs this financial year through a significant ramp up in production capacity.
“Earlier this year, we unveiled our three phased approach towards building a comprehensive EV portfolio. We are committed to launch 10 EVs in different product segments, body styles and affordability levels,” Chandra added.
The all-electric version of the Tiago was first showcased in 2017 by Tata Motors European Technical Centre. That model used a liquid-cooled 85 kW motor that generated 20Nm of torque and a drive range of 100 km on a single charge. With a notable improvement in the EV technology since then, the Tiago EV is expected to sport better specifications.
Tata Motors has lined up investments to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore in the EV space for the next five years, and will utilise the funds on electrifying some of its existing products, introducing electrified versions of new products and launching ‘born electric’ models.
Recently, the company agreed to buy the Ford Motor’s plant in Gujarat to use it to produce EVs. The initial annual capacity of that plant will be 300,000 units per annum.