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Tata Motors Expands BEV Lineup, Consolidates Connected Services

Tata Motors has been expanding its BEV passenger vehicle lineup. The company launched the Tigor EV compact sedan in 2017 followed by the Nexon EV compact SUV in January 2020. Another BEV SUV is expected to be released in 2021 or after. To expand sales of these products, Tata Motors is fully utilizing the resources of the Tata Group. The automaker has joined forces with a number of group members such as Tata Power to build charging infrastructure, Tata Chemicals to manufacture battery cells, and Tata AutoComp Systems to assemble battery packs and motors. The group is working together to build an BEV ecosystem called “Tata uniEVerse.” This system is intended to promote the spread of BEVs throughout the group. Tata Motors is also envisioning the development of a shared connected vehicle platform (CVP) for the entire lineup of passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and BEVs. The automaker aims to consolidate its services into a CVP and build a service that can support all types of vehicles.

Tata Motors: Recent Trends in the Electric and Connected Vehicle Sectors

Electric Vehicle Trends

Development status of electric vehicles

・As of the fall of 2020, two BEV models, the Tigor EV and Nexon EV, were on the market. Tata does not market other electric vehicles such as HEVs. – Tata began production and sales of the Tigor EV as its first BEV in 2017. The Tigor EV underwent full-model change in October 2019. By improving the performance of the battery, driving range has been increased by 50% from 142km to 213km. – The Nexon EV was released in January 2020. It is the first model equipped with the newly-developed BEV powertrain Ziptron which has a maximum driving range of 312km. The Nexon EV is produced at Tata’s Pune plant in Maharashtra state. Cumulative production volume exceeded 1,000 units in August 2020 and 2,000 units in December of the same year. ・The new BEV SUV is planned to be launched in 2021 or 2022. – It is under development as the Sierra EV Concept. The concept model was unveiled at India’s Auto Expo in February 2020.

Electric vehicle supply trends

・In November 2019, Indian steel giant Tata Steel, which belongs to the same Tata Group as Tata Motors, announced that it would partner with Tata Motors to procure the Tiger EV as a shuttle vehicle for employees. – The partnership will operate 40 Tigor EVs at Tata Steel’s headquarters in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand state. ・In November 2019, Tata Motors signed a long-term partnership agreement with local BEV fleet business provider Lithium Urban Technologies. – Under the partnership, Tata Motors supplies Lithium Urban Technologies with BEV passenger and commercial vehicles. – At the time of the announcement of the alliance, an order for 500 units was confirmed. Tata Motors plans to deliver 400 Tigor EVs in the first stage and then supply an additional 100 units. ・In December 2019, Tata Motors signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Prakriti E-Mobility, an Indian BEV taxi service company. – Under the partnership, Tata Motors will deliver 500 Tigor EVs to Prakriti E-Mobility. Tigor EVs are used in the New Delhi and Delhi metropolitan area (NCR) as taxis for the smartphone app-based BEV fleet platform EVERA operated by Prakriti E-Mobility. The service was launched in January 2020. ・By September 2020, Tata Motors appears to have supplied a cumulative total of about 690 BEVs to Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), a public energy company under India’s Ministry of Power. – EESL is a company that centrally orders and procures BEVs used as public vehicles by the central and local governments of India. Tata Motors has delivered BEVs to EESL since 2017. – In 2020, Tata Motors supplied the Tigor EV through EESL to a local electricity company Uttar Gujarat Vij (UGVCL) in Gujarat state in February and to the Ministry of AYUSH, which is in charge of alternative medicine in India, in August. ・In September 2020, Tata Motors was selected through a bidding process to supply 150 BEVs to EESL. – The model selected for the tender was the Nexon EV. – As part of the same tender, Hyundai will supply 100 units of the BEV SUV Kona.

Introduction of BEV subscription service

・In August 2020, Tata Motors introduced a BEV subscription service for the Nexon EV. – The service was launched in Delhi metropolitan area (NCR), Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The service is operated by Orix Auto Infrastructure Services. – Tata Motors offers three subscription periods; 18 months, 23 months and 36 months. – The monthly fee is 47,900 INR for an 18-month contract, 44,900 INR for a 24-month contract and 41,900 INR for a 36-month contract.

Connected Vehicle Trends

Outline of Tata Motors’ connected business

・Tata Motors is envisioning the development of a shared connected vehicle platform (CVP) for the entire lineup of passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and BEVs. So far, Tata Motors has introduced dedicated connected services (see below) for main passenger vehicle models, and has sold more than 200,000 units of telematics service (Tata Fleetman Programme) for commercial vehicles. In the future, Tata Motors aims to consolidate these services into a CVP and build a service that can support all types of vehicles.

Connected services for passenger vehicles

・As of mid-2020, the following two models come with connected service. – Nexon EV: Equipped with dedicated connected service “Zconnect.” The service was introduced along with the launch of the Nexon EV in January 2020. It is linked with a smartphone app and has 35 functions. – Altroz: Equipped with a connected service “Tata Altroz Voice BoT” that allows voice operation. It was developed in partnership with Google and launched in December 2019. The service can be operated through any smartphone that can use Google Assistant. With the “Ok Google, talk to Tata Altroz” command, the voice assistant function related to vehicle information can be enabled. (Created using Tata Motors’ PR materials and various media sources)
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