According to Chandra, the idea of displaying the car at Croma stores is due to the type of people who come there. “We are trying to appeal to tech-geek customers. If somebody is going to buy an Apple product, he/she could be thinking electric,” he reasoned.
In his address to shareholders at Tata Motors’ AGM earlier this week, Chairman N Chandrasekaran said the company had “recalibrated its ambitions higher” in the EV space, after the announcements by the government to boost dem-and. As part of the plan, it is looking to launch multiple EV models.
On Thursday, the company unveiled the Nexon EV, its first electric SUV for personal buyers. It uses the company’s new EV technology platform, Ziptron. The SUV, claimed Chandra, will be able to bridge the massive price difference between an EV and one powered by the conventional internal combustion engine, a big barrier for EVs. Executives said until there is an EV priced below Rs 10 lakh, it is impossible to make these popular in the personal vehicle segment. Maruti has selected its Wagon R model to launch its first EV.
Chandra said the latter market is huge as compared to the fleet segment. “The fleet segment is just 10 per cent of the total passenger car market; 90 per cent is the personal segment. Vehicle electrification cannot be driven by not addressing the 90 per cent pie. You have to address that,” he said.
If enty-level segment vehicles are transformed to electric ones, he thinks, the price difference might be too high, and repel customers. “That’s why we choose a model where the price difference will not be more than 20-25 per cent. This, along with the superior performance of the car, will make it popular.”