Mass market EV and ICE vehicles will come at same price in 12-18 months, says Shailesh Chandra
In the foreseeable future, I am saying in less than 1 year, 1 and a half years, you are going to see a 200-250 km real range car in the mass market, hitting that level, Chandra said.
With battery costs hitting a magical $100 kilowatt per hour level, there is potential to see a mass-market electric car with a 250 km real range at a similar price level as an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle within 18 months, says Shailesh Chandra, MD of Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.
Speaking at Autocar Professional’s India EV Conclave in collaboration with the government of Tamil Nadu, Chandra said that while the early adopters of electric vehicles are willing to pay a premium of 20-30% over conventional ICE vehicles, the mainstream buyers want an EV at the same price of ICE. “In the foreseeable future, I am saying in less than 1 year, 1 and a half years, you are going to see a 200-250 km real range car in the mass market, hitting that level,” he added.
The head of India's largest electric car maker says the future "cost trend is locked in", where the cost of an internal combustion engine will be "inflationary" in nature to meet future emission compliance, whereas, for the electric vehicle, technology cost will witness a "deflationary" trend with battery costs likely to fall.
"It’s a given, EVs will see a deflationary trend. So there is a breakpoint at some stage that you are going to see," said Chandra.
The cost of an electric vehicle over a conventional internal combustion engine powered car is still about 25-35 percent higher due to significant import content and high battery cost.
Chandra believes that with a lower GST of 5 percent, the advantage of a falling battery cost along with the benefits accrued out of the government of India’s production-linked incentive scheme will not only help the company to price its products competitively but also enable the EV business to start generating profits.
Tata Motors on its part, has led from the front in creating a market for electric vehicles, with a predominant share of over 85% in the nascent yet fast-emerging space.
For the first time ever, the electric car market in India is likely to cross the 1 lakh mark this financial year. The maker of Nexon and Tiago EV is also on course for a six-digit annual sales mark within a year.
Tata Motors on its part has committed $ 2 billion in investment for its EV business and it has plans of building a portfolio of 10 electric vehicles by 2025. Already about 15% of its total sales come from EVs, and the company expects a share of 30% volumes from the EV business in its total volumes by 2026-2027.
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