In its quest to be a major player in electric mobility, Tata Motors, one of the few electric vehicle manufacturers in India, today officially revealed development of its state-of-the-art electric vehicle technology called ‘Ziptron’. Ziptron, which will form the basis of future Tata EVs, will first be used on a model that is slated to roll out in early 2020.
Tata Motors says that the Ziptron EV powertrain technology is a building block towards its consistent strive for commonality, to drive economies of scale and to make new technologies affordable for Indian consumers. Its key highlights are an efficient high voltage system, zippy performance, long range, fast charging capability, battery with warranty of 8 years, and adherence to IP67 standard.
Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors (centre); Shailesh Chandra, President - Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy (left) and Anand Kulkarni - Product Line Head – EVBU (extreme right), at the Ziptron technology reveal in Mumbai.
Speaking at the launch in Mumbai today, Guenter Butschek, CEO and MD, Tata Motors said, “This state-of-art technology brand – Ziptron –has been designed in-house while utilising our global engineering network. At the heart of our future EV line-up, this technology will deliver a thrilling driving experience. Rigorously tested across a million kilometres, Ziptron technology is well proven, advanced and reliable. With this technology, we hope to usher in a new wave of e-mobility in India and accelerate faster adoption of EVs, supporting the government’s vision.”
Butschek said that optimising the battery pack is crucial for EVs in India. Having the right cost-to- range ratio is vital. He added that Tata Motors will leverage other Group companies in its electric car journey.
What is Ziptron?
According to Tata Motors, Ziptron technology comprises a highly efficient permanent magnet AC motor providing superior performance on demand. It also offers best in industry dust- and water-proof battery system meeting IP67 standards. Further, Ziptrop utilises smart regenerative braking to charge the battery while on the drive.
Tata Motors says Ziptron has been developed keeping in mind Indian climatic and traffic conditions, and also addresses typical EV buyers concerns of performance, range and safety. A team of 350 engineers worked on the project that encompassed over 1 million kilometers of testing over the development programme.
While Tata Motors has not revealed final specifications as yet, company spokespersons announced cars built with Ziptron will have a “minimum range of 250km” and will support fast charging. The battery pack comprises lithium-ion cells and features liquid-cooling to maintain the ideal operating temperature. Typically, extremes of temperature have a huge impact on the performance of the battery system. The battery pack comes encased in a high-strength steel casing and boasts an IP67 rating – the highest standard for waterproofing and dust protection. Tata Motors will offer a standard 8 year warranty on the battery pack and motor. The modular battery system will find use on adapted and ground-up electric vehicles from Tata Motors.
The high voltage 300V plus electric motor also promises to be leagues ahead of the 72V system on the Tigor EV in performance and output. The motor will come mated to a single ratio transmission that has been optimized for Indian traffic. Ziptron cars will also feature drive modes to give drivers the option to maximize range or enhance performance.
Connected technology will also be part of the package on Tata’s upcoming electric cars giving buyers vehicle health, status and location reports, remotely.
In the past, Tata Motors has announced 4 all-electric models to be in the pipeline. And it is more than likely that the Altroz EV could be the first model to feature Ziptron technology.
Clearly, Ziptron is part of Tata Motors’ reworked EV strategy under which 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. In the new EV factory pipeline are a new E-Tigor, an electric version of the Nexon compact SUV planned for debut in early January, followed by the electric version of the to-be-launched premium hatchback Altroz, and another model.
(With inputs from Nikhil Bhatia)