Range anxiety is becoming a thing of the past: Shailesh Chandra, Tata Motors

Tata Motors currently sells four electric car models in the personal mobility space: Nexon EV, Nexon EV Max, Tigor EV and Tiago EV.

tata motors, auto sector
Shailesh Chandra

Shailesh Chandra, managing director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, has told FE that range anxiety is gradually becoming a thing of the past. He and his team recently drove the Nexon EV Max from Srinagar to Kanyakumari, a distance of 4,003 km, in 95 hours and 46 minutes. During the drive, the car was charged 21 times on fast chargers.

“Range anxiety (worry that the battery will run out of power while driving and the car will be stranded) happens due to two things—low range of a car and limited charging infrastructure,” Chandra said. “This drive made us realise that the actual range of the Nexon EV Max is good enough to be taken for intercity trips, and the charging infrastructure is getting better by the day.”

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While under standard test conditions the Nexon EV Max returns 453 km range, on this drive it consistently returned above 300 km on a single charge.

“Our data shows that customers of the Nexon EV are increasingly taking the cars for intercity trips,” Chandra said. “We are now focusing on ramping up charging infrastructure between cities where we sell the most electric cars.”

The top seven cities where Tata Motors sells electric cars include Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, and it makes most sense to ramp-up charging infrastructure on the roads connecting these cities, obviously starting with cities that are nearest to each other.

Tata Power, for example, is strengthening the Chennai-Bengaluru corridor so that people can easily drive electric cars between these two cities. Other corridors are Mumbai-Pune and Mumbai-Ahmedabad.

“I must admit that fast charges are still not in abundance, not to the extent that would be absolutely no anxiety, but still these are enough to get you going from one part of India to another,” Chandra said. “What helps right now is that charging infrastructure utilisation levels are low, but with more electric cars getting sold, their utilisation will rise, and we expect the charging infrastructure to outpace utilisation levels.”

Tata Motors currently sells four electric car models in the personal mobility space: Nexon EV, Nexon EV Max, Tigor EV and Tiago EV.

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The Tiago EV, starting Rs 8.69 lakh, is the most affordable electric car in India, and its waiting period ranges from 3.5 months to five months, but Tata Motors has been scaling up supplies. “We have delivered more than 5,000 units of the Tiago EV, and supplies are getting better,” Chandra said.

In calendar year 2023, Tata Motors is expected to launch the Punch EV, and 1-2 more electric cars in the next financial year. In 2021, the carmaker had announced it will launch 10 electric cars in five years.

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First published on: 06-03-2023 at 05:00 IST
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