In February this year, Tata Motors' management had approved a plan to play in the emerging electric mobility industry. That plan is currently being reworked, thanks to the new EV-friendly announcements made by the government in the Union Budget 2019 and earlier this month through its think-tank NITI Aayog.
While the reworked strategy takes shape, four models are being lined up to enter the electric mobility market over the next 12-18 months. Currently, Tata Motors has only one model, the E-Tigor, in this space. A new E-Tigor with a 180km driving range (40km more than the current one) is part of the four new offerings. An electric version of the Nexon compact SUV will debut in early January, followed by the electric version of the to-be-launched premium hatchback Altroz, and another model. Some of the models could also have a driving range of 250km or so.
Tata Motors has already announced its plans to work together with Group companies Tata Power and Tata Chemicals to develop solutions to tap the electric mobility megatrend. "And if there's any further investment required, Tata Sons will also get in," said N Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Motors at the company's 74th Annual General Meeting in Mumbai today.
Assuring shareholders about the company's focus on electric mobility Chandrasekaran is clear that the company doesn't want to be in that space for just "another 10,000 vehicles". "This is an area where we have to definitely play big," he says.
Much of Tata Motors' renewed focus is fueled by the government's incentives, latest of which is the reduction of GST rate on EVs from 12 to 5 percent. According to Chandrasekaran, the incentives are "quite good" on both demand and supply sides. "We'll have to see how to take advantage of this and translate it into sales," he says.
Tata Motors, which is going through a financially challenging period, wants to have two to three high-volume nameplates. " Whether it comes from ICE or EV, we have got to see," says Chandrasekaran.
The company has identified 25 cities to launch its electric vehicles in, initially.
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