EXCLUSIVE: Tata Motors electric ACE delivery vehicle catches fire

The vehicle was being operated by logistics player Bluwheelz. Tata Motors claims this is the first reported incident in over 5,000 e-ACE sold.

By Shahkar Abidi and Ketan Thakkar calendar 07 Jun 2024 Views icon9308 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Tata ACE EV image

The company has said that this is the first reported incident for ACE EV in over 5,000 of these vehicles sold in the past two years

A Tata Motors ACE electric vehicle operated by Bluwheelz, a rising player in India's electric logistics sector, caught fire on Tuesday

The incident involved an electric ACE vehicle manufactured by Tata Motors. Bluwheelz CEO Chanpreet Singh Sethi told Autocar Professional that the matter is being investigated by Tata Motors and a report is expected by next week.

 

Tata Motors confirmed the fire and said a detailed investigation is underway to determine the cause. "A detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of this isolated incident"."  "We remain committed to the safety of our vehicles and their users." the spokesperson added. The company spokesperson emphasised that this is the first reported incident for ACE EVs. Tata Motors claims to have sold over 5,000 ACE EVs in the past two years, with these vehicles cumulatively driven over 16 million kilometers across India.

Tata Motors launched the Ace EV, the electric version of its popular small commercial vehicle Ace, in May 2022. The Ace EV boasts a certified range of 154 kilometers and was the first product to feature Tata Motors' EVOGEN powertrain. The company received initial orders for around 39,000 units from e-commerce and other companies, with deliveries commencing in January 2023. The first fleets were delivered to major players like Amazon, Amplus EV, Delhivery, DHL, FedEx, Flipkart, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, MoEVing, Safexpress, and Trent Limited.

Bluwheelz is among its newest clients.

Bluwheelz offers fleet-as-a-service solutions with a focus on electric vehicles. Its client list includes major players like Big Basket, Delhivery, Porter, Zomato, and Compass. The company has also partnered with Britannia, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Swiggy, Cremica, HT, ITC, and others for pilot projects.

Founded in January 2023, Bluwheelz has grown rapidly, expanding its services to over 17 cities with a fleet of 1,100 electric vehicles and over 40 clients. The company procures electric vehicles from various manufacturers, including Omega Seiki Mobility, AltiGreen, Tata Motors, and Hero Electric.

This incident comes just months after Bluwheelz secured $1 million in bridge funding from a consortium of investors, including Venture Catalysts.

Strategy Shift

 

With the expiration of the FAME II government subsidy scheme in March 2024, Tata Motors has shifted its strategy to focus on generating demand through lower total cost of ownership (TCO) rather than relying on government incentives. The company recently launched a new 1-tonne variant of the ACE electric SCV, which is 17% more expensive than the previous FAME-subsidised variant but offers a 30% improvement in TCO."We were preparing for this post-FAME environment and have launched an exciting range of products," Girish Wagh, Executive Director at  Tata Motors highlighted during a recent conference call.

Tata Motors is the first company to receive India's PLI certificate for electric four-wheeler goods vehicles, including the N1 category encompassing the Ace EV models. The company has also begun exporting the ACE EV to Nepal.

 

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