Photo: Sanjay K Sharma
Homegrown auto major Tata Motors is banking on the order to supply electric cars to the government to accelerate its programme to offer a full range of electric vehicles in the Indian market, according to company's CEO and MD Guenter Butschek.
Last month state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) had announced that Tata Motors had bagged orders to supply 10,000 EVs in two phases but later stated that Mahindra and Mahindra have matched the rival's lowest bid price.
EESL said all 10,000 e-cars would be procured in two phases with 500 to be procured in phase-I and 9,500 vehicles to be ordered post phase-I deliveries.
"It will help us accelerate our efforts to offer a full range of electric vehicles to the Indian consumers," Butschek told PTI when asked how the order would change the company's EV programme.
He further said: "It has provided us with an opportunity to leapfrog in boosting our presence in the e-mobility space."
Tata Motors started its EV journey over three years ago when in May 2014, UK-based Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) revealed a Manza REEV (range-extended electric vehicle) demonstrator vehicle.
Located at University of Warwick in Coventry, TMETC has been working on high-voltage distribution systems, battery design and vehicle controller development, which were incorporated into Manza REEV.
Since then it has run several other projects and came up with EV concepts of its products, including Vista, Zest, Bolt and Tiago.
"Through this process, we have learned about electrification of power trains and most importantly how to actually apply the electric power train solutions on existing platforms," he said.
Butschek further said: "This is going to help us on the way forward to readily provide not just one product, but a range of products which will become available as electric versions to the Indian market."
Commenting on Tata Motors' EV strategy, he said there is a latent need for a range of electric vehicle mobility solutions and the company will partner with local start-ups or enterprises.
The partnerships, he said would be to "identify opportunities, to localise global technologies, meeting the price expectations of our customers and making EVs affordable towards the government's vision".
To fulfill the EESL order, Tata Motors will manufacture electric version of its compact sedan Tigor at its Sanand plant in Gujarat.