Tata Motors on Wednesday launched its Tiago EV with introductory prices for the first 10,000 customers ranging between Rs 8.49 and 11.79 lakh.
Betting big on electric mobility, Tata Motors is gearing up to drive in a range of models across multiple price points as it expects the portfolio to account for more than 30 per cent of its overall sales by the end of this decade.
The home-grown auto major also aims to keep investing on new models with conventional (petrol, diesel) and CNG powertrains as it expects the demand to remain robust even after 2030.
On Wednesday, the company expanded its electric vehicle portfolio in the country with the launch of Tiago EV with introductory prices for first 10,000 customers ranging between Rs 8.49 and 11.79 lakh (ex-showroom).
The company said 2,000 units will be reserved for the current owners of Nexon EV and Tigor EV.
Tiago EV is now the most accessible electric passenger vehicle brand in the country and also the most affordable in the company's electric vehicle range.
Tata Motors already sells Tigor EV and Nexon EV in the domestic market priced between Rs 12.49 and 19.84 lakh (ex-showroom)
With the launch of Tiago EV, Tata Motors is scaling up its electric sales network in the country to 165 cities from 90 locations currently to cater to the expected increase in demand.
In an interaction with PTI, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Managing Director Shailesh Chandra said the auto major is deploying a three-pronged architecture approach for electric vehicles to come up with a portfolio of 10 products in five years.
The company will have products based out of its existing nameplates as well as all new ground-up models to cater to changing requirements of customers, he added.
"We will have a portfolio of products starting from Tiago EV and also go beyond Nexon, so we will have these ten products at different price points," Chandra said.
There might be an electric product between Tiago and Nexon as well, he hinted.
The automaker sells models like premium hatchback Altroz and Punch which fall in the price category of the Tiago and Nexon.
"Everything will come in a space of say one to two products every year," Chandra stated.
The company expects to touch the 50,000 units mark in total EV sales this year.
When asked about the company's product strategy going ahead, he noted: "By end of this decade, government expects electric passenger vehicle sales to account for 30 per cent of the overall sales. We will be above that (30 per cent mark)."
Chandra further said: "If still big demand remains in the internal combustion engine side we will have to grow there. We have a strong foundation of ICE vehicles and we can't let it go, which means we will continue to invest in ICE."
He stated that the funds generated in the passenger vehicle side would only be utilised to nurture the conventional model range.
The earnings from passenger vehicle business would go into expanding the ICE portfolio with new products, powertrains including the CNG range and other alternative fuel powered models going ahead, he added.
"On the EV side, we had a challenge earlier as to how do we service investments in both EV and ICE. We have resolved that with the infusion of external capital and formation of new company so that the investment required in EV is not serviced by the passenger vehicle ICE side," Chandra said.
Last year, Tata Motors announced that it will raise USD 1 billion in its passenger electric vehicle (EV) business from TPG Rise Climate in exchange for compulsorily convertible preference shares to create a portfolio of EVs and dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platforms.
Chandra said that with EV funding secured, the EV business is expected to start generating its own funds few years down the line.
When asked if the company would look at raising fresh capital for the business, he said there were no immediate plans for the same.
Commenting on Tiago EV, Chandra said the hatchback comes with two distinct battery set-ups, driving modes and connected car telematics across the trims.
The trims with 25 KW battery pack come with a driving range of 315 km while the variants with the 19.2 KW battery pack deliver an estimated range of 250 km, Chandra said.
"Having pioneered the EV market in India, we now believe that it is the right time to fast forward the ongoing revolution towards the future of mobility by introducing vehicles which will encourage rapid adoption of EVs," he said.
Bookings for the model will open on October 10 and deliveries are expected to commence from January next year, he added.
On sales outlook for the new model, Chandra said the company expects the electric trims to account for more than 25 per cent of the overall Tiago range.
Currently, the Nexon EV sales stand at 3,000-3,500 units per month while Tigor EV dispatches are in the range of 1,000-1,300 units, roughly accounting for 20-25 per cent of the overall sales across both brands.
The company may also look at separate service network for the electric models going ahead.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com