Mumbai: Tata Motors, which nudged ahead of Mahindra & Mahindra to grab a key government order for electric vehicles is banking on the new Nexon EV to grab the leadership position in the nascent yet growing local EV market.
With the introduction of the compact Nexon EV SUV, which is targeted at personal buyers, the company is expecting its sales of EV models to double in the next fiscal year starting April 2020, president of electric mobility and corporate strategy Shailesh Chandra told ET.
In the ongoing fiscal year, the company is set to cross the 1,000-unit sales mark for EVs, said people in the know.
Tata Motors unveiled the Nexon EV on Thursday. It has begun taking bookings for the vehicle, which is likely to be priced Rs 15-17 lakh and will hit the roads in the next few weeks.
“The underlying factors are turning positive. And the volumes will be driven by new product action,” Chandra said. “While the fleet is driving the sales right now for EVs, there is a huge potential in the personal EV space as well. We think that personal EV segment can be as high as the fleet segment.”
The company, which has a market share of 40% in the EV segment of passenger vehicles, said it had studied the personal electric vehicle market and sliced its prospective customers into four archetypes — customers who give importance to health and fitness, tech geeks, the ones who are low-maintenance seekers and finally, a ‘wannabe EV owner’ who has seen the world and wants to have a “brag value” for owning an EV.
Chandra said the marketing strategy and the charging station roll-out plan were defined after studying the prospective Nexon EV buyers. Next year, the company will also be adding the Altroz EV hatchback, catering to a different customer base. Tata Motors has designed vehicles to suit those buying for personal use and fleet owners with different range and power performance, Chandra said.
“I don’t want to get into convincing or pushing game with the personal buyers; our Nexon EV or forthcoming products should satisfy their specific individual needs of performance, connectivity, higher range and features. There has been a lot of emphasis on weaning away all anxieties,” he said.
While for personal buyers the Nexon EV may be priced around Rs 15-17 lakh, fleet the customer will get a FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India scheme) benefit of Rs 3 lakh based on the battery size. This government subsidy would take the cost of the electric Nexon within 20% of the Nexon run on the internal combustion engine.
Tata Motors has already localised a battery pack. Its sister company, TACO, is in the final stages of the motor assembly. Another group company, Tata Chemicals, will also look at cell manufacturing.