In spite of India’s ambitious plans to lead the transition to e-mobility and sell 30% new electric passenger cars, light commercial vans, buses and trucks, by 2030, Tata Motors CEO and MD, Guenter Butschek, seems to disagree. According to Butschek, India will have only 20-25% new registrations of electric vehicles by 2025.

It is huge challenge… I think from a vision point of view, from an aspiration point of view, it is a good timeline but in order to get even close to it, we need to draft and translate it in to a policy.

On Tuesday, he said that Tata Motors has still not decided on an electric-only platform and it only plans platforms that can handle both electric and internal combustion engines. He also expressed his scepticism of the government’s vision to reach 100% electrification of public transport and 40% of personal mobility by 2030.

Going forward, Tata’s greatest challenge will be to balance demand for cars with both electric and conventional internal combustion engines (ICE), requiring large investments. Investing in conventional powertrains, tends to derail the transition from traditional ICEs to EVs. Tata’s first electric sedan, the Tigor EV is currently running a fully industrialised supply chain. It has low voltage charging and is working on a high voltage solution.

India’s transition to e-mobility

India’s transition to e-mobility is driven by large government and smaller private tenders for electric cars and buses. The state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) joint venture of power PSUs, working on electrification, is the largest buyer of electric cars, having ordered 10,000 units. Tata Motors and Mahindra, have both applied to the tender, in an attempt to supply the first electric cars to the Indian government, in the next 2 years.

Earlier in December, Tata Motors became the L1 bidder (lowest bidder) for the EESL order, outbidding Mahindra by Rs 2.3 lakh (US$ 3,500). Tata Motors already sold its first set of the electric compact sedan Tigor, produced in the Sanand plant. Tata plans to deliver 250 units of the Tigor EV, in three versions, including a Base, Premium and High, available in pearlescent white colour with blue decals. Tata’s rival, on the other hand, will deliver a significantly smaller order of only 150 electric cars.

Speaking during December’s delivery to EESL, Butschek praised India’s government initiative as a bold step in promoting green and sustainable transport solutions.

This initiative of the Government of India to procure 10,000 electric vehicles is a bold step in terms of promoting green & sustainable transport solutions. We, at Tata Motors are extremely proud to be part of this project and are supportive of the Government’s transformational vision of auto electrification in India. With Tigor EV, we have begun our journey in boosting e-mobility and will offer a full range of electric vehicles to the Indian customers. This tender has effectively paved the way for connecting our aspirations in the e-mobility space with the vision of the Government.

Auto Expo 2018

The forthcoming Auto Expo show, starting this month in New Delhi and Greater Noida, will see numerous new electric vehicles. The two-part event, featuring booths from more than 2,000 auto industry professionals, will focus on “automotive technologies that drive the world”. Tata will showcase its X45X premium hatchback and H5X compact SUV. Both electric cars will be launched in 2019, with the SUV preceding the hatchback.

The company will be focused on the transition to integrated mobility solutions, outlining plans for India’s future Smart Cities and connected population.

Snezana Sokolovska

Snezana has extensive international background and business media experience. She is covering e-mobility, autonomous vehicles and smart technology at Electric Think.

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