Electric Vehicle News Roundup – 3

electric car news

Tata Nexon Electric SUV Unveiled In India, To Be Priced Up To Rs 17 Lakh


Tata Motors has unveiled the Tata Nexon electric SUV in India. This is the first EV to feature the brand’s Ziptron architecture and significantly differs from the standard Nexon, the powertrain aside. The Nexon EV will be launched in January 2020 and be priced between Rs 15 to Rs 17 lakhs. The Nexon EV can be booked for Rs 21,000 starting tomorrow, 20th December, either through the Tata Motor’s official website or through select dealers. 


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Similar to a number of international EV markets, the compact sports utility segment (SUV) battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is gaining significant traction even in India.  In a short span of time three all-electric SUVs have been announced or launched in the Indian market, to include the pure electric Tata Nexon SUV, the MG (Morris Garages) ZS SUV and the all-electric Hyundai Kona

Tata certainly has gained valuable experience from the success of its all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV via the Jaguar Land Rover business owned by Tata.  In fact, the Jaguar I-PACE electric SUV has achieved significant success since its launch in the international markets in 2018.  

As is now the case with most automotive manufacturers, electric vehicles are being developed on new dedicated platforms and the Nexon is no different.  The electric Nexon is being developed from Tata’s Ziptron architecture, that will also be used to develop other EV models. 

Of course, unlike the premium Jaguar I-PACE SUV, the Nexon has been developed and priced for a price sensitive market like India and at Rs 17 lakhs, it certainly reinforces the theme of affordability.  Moreover, with a zero-emission electric range of up to 300 kms, the EV is well positioned for the ‘sweet spot’ with ‘practical range’ and ‘value’ for consumers in India.  

The All-Electric Tata Nexon Electric SUV

However, the success of the all-electric Nexon and other EVs being launched in India is the improvement in electric car charging infrastructure.  One of the key themes that has has been critical for the success of EV adoption in international markets. Also important is for consumers in India to be educated comprehensively on the benefits of zero-emission electric driving.  

Pure electric cars available in India, include the, all-electric MG ZS SUV, the pure electric Tata Nexon SUV, the all-electric Tata Tigor sedan, the all-electric Mahindra e Verito and the all-electric Hyundai Kona SUV.


Forget Electric Cars – e-Bikes Will Be The Top Selling EV In The Next Decade 


130 million e-bikes are expected to be sold globally between 2020 and 2023. The next decade is going to be defined by a revolution of battery-powered transportation, and the vehicle that will lead the change won’t be the Tesla Model 3 or even the wildly polarizing Cybertruck. And it definitely won’t be an electric scooter. It will be an electric bike.


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It is indeed the case that e-bikes also known as ‘pedal-assist’ electric bikes will gain significantly in popularity, as the broader trend of EV adoption picks up steam.  However,  larger volumes of e-bikes does not mean that electric cars will not be wildly successful.  

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In economic value terms, the size of the electric car market will dwarf the e-bikes segment, despite the potential higher volumes of electric bikes.  The reason is simple.  The average cost of an electric bike globally is Rs 1.5 lakhs, while the average selling price of an electric car is closer to 35 lakhs.  Also, e-bikes, despite all their benefits and lower acquisition costs will not be a ‘natural fit’ for all markets.  Many factors will influence the success of e-bikes to include, perception of cycling, need for electric bikes and of course, the weather.  

India maybe potentially more suited for e-bikes, given the humongous size of the two-wheeler and cycle market in India.  However, it is to early to conclude on the potential viability and success for electric bikes in India i.e. will consumers take the leap from better priced conventional cycles and two-wheelers to pedal assist e-bikes.  Having said that, e-bikes from established Indian manufacturers like Hero Electric, do make a strong case for exponential adoption, given the price point offered by the company.


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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