Electric Car Sales Have Reached Inflection Point, Says Tata Motors' Shailesh Chandra

As charging infrastructure grows with newer electric models, the buyer will have confidence to bet on the technology, Chandra says

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Nexon.ev. (Source: Tata Motors website)</p></div>
The Nexon.ev. (Source: Tata Motors website)

Electric vehicle sales in the country have already reached an inflection point and are set to grow rapidly over the next few years as the existing barriers disappear, according to Shailesh Chandra of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd.

"It is already I'd say at inflection point, given that one company like Tata Motors can have 13–15% of volume, and nearly 20% of our revenues, coming from electric vehicles being the third (biggest) player in the market," Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd., told BQ Prime.

Currently, electric cars account for only 2–2.5% of the overall passenger vehicle sales, with monthly sales of around 8,500 units, he said.

Customers are looking for cars that could become mainstream, underscoring that barriers need to be broken by continuously bringing new features and next-level interventions on EV, Chandra said.

The company launched a Nexon.ev on Thursday as it looks to further its dominance in the electric car market, where it has nearly a three fourth market share.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>(Source: Tata Motors website)</p></div>

(Source: Tata Motors website)

Chandra's comments are in contrast with other automakers like Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which has slated its first electric car launch in 2025.

The country may see an accelerated pace of EV adoption from 2025 onwards, according to Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer, marketing and sales at Maruti Suzuki.

"A sharp uptick in EV adoption has been witnessed in various countries when the industry sales reach 3–4% penetration. That level should come around 2025 in our country," Srivastava had said earlier this week.

He also cited this as the reason why the company's first EV, based on the concept car eVX, will be launched in 2025 in the midsized SUV segment.

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Chandra said as more carmakers come out with their models, the charging infrastructure grows, and newer electric models are seen on the roads, it would increase the confidence of the buyer to bet on the technology.

Tata Motors plans to spend nearly $2 billion to roll out 10 electric cars in the next five years. This includes second generation EVs based on the multi-energy platform and third generation pure-play EV platform. It expects electric vehicles to account for 25% of its overall sales by FY27 and 50% by 2030.

The first model among the second generation EVs is slated to be rolled out in 2024, while cars based on the Avinya concept and third generation architecture will be out in 2025.

However, the new feature loaded Nexon.EV is close to a second generation EV from the house of Tatas. "This is just a notch below what pure definition of generation two EV for us would be," Chandra said. "Because generation two EV is a platform-level change that you bring to accommodate more batteries, so that it can take any kind of battery in terms of its form factor, chemistry and size."

The Mumbai-based carmaker is betting on these EVs to also drive its exports. "We see ourselves going global mainly with electric vehicles. We're in the process of finalising the strategy," Chandra said.

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