While European, East Asian and American electric cars get a lot of attention, we have to remember that there is a bigger world out there, and there is a lot of room for environmental improvement. While the citizens of rich nations tend to have very high per capita emissions, the sheer number of people in India presents a unique global challenge. Not only do we (at least those of us who care about people) want India’s citizens to have a higher standard of living, but we also want to stop the harmful effects of climate change from getting worse than they have to. It’s a real “Catch-22.”
But, as Henry J. Kaiser said, “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.”
With cleaner technology coming earlier in India’s development curve, they have a great opportunity to “leap” wealthier countries and not make the mistakes we did (at least from my American perspective). By leapfrogging, I mean they can go straight to the best technology available instead of using legacy technology. The mobile phone is a prime example of how leapfrogging takes place. A large part of the developing world skipped fixed telephony and went straight to 21st century mobile technology. By leapfrogging, it is possible that these nations will escape the dangerous stages of development evident in industrialized societies, at least to some extent.
Two recent press releases from Tata Motors, a leading Indian car company, show that this may be a reality.
Taking Rideshare straight to electric
To further accelerate the transition to sustainable transport, Tata Motors signed an agreement with Evera a few days ago. Evera is one of the first platforms in Delhi NCR to exclusively focus on electric cars. The 2,000 XPRES T EVs ordered by Tata will be added to the existing fleet of its vehicles available with this aggregator.
“With the XPRES-T EV Sedan, we have created a new benchmark in the fleet market, and it is encouraging to see well-known fleet aggregators join the green mobility wave with us. Evera has been associated with us for a long time, and we are delighted to further strengthen this link by signing an agreement to supply 2000 EVs to them,” said Shailesh Chandra – Managing Director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd. “X-PRES T EV offers enhanced safety, fast charging solution, a premium interior theme along with dynamic performance to an affordable price. We hope to continue our collaboration with Evera and work together to offer greener and safer mobility options to our customers.”
In July 2021, Tata Motors launched the electric sedan XPRES. This vehicle comes with 2 range options – 213 km and 165 km (ARAI certified range under test conditions). It has a high energy density battery of 21.5 kWh and 16.5 kWh and can be charged from 0-80% in 90 and 110 minutes respectively, with fast charging or any 15 A plug that is readily available.
Tata comes with many features that differentiate it from other cars in the market. These include zero emissions, single-speed automatic transmission, dual airbags, ABS with EBD as standard across all variants. The premium black interior with standard automatic climate control and Electric Blue accents across the interior and exterior will give it a differentiated presence from other Tata cars.
“We are delighted to announce our collaboration with Tata Motors. This association is in line with the Government of India’s national electric mobility mission plans and demonstrates our commitment to provide eco-friendly yet most efficient, comfortable and sustainable mobility solutions to customers,” said Nimish Trivedi, co-founder and CEO, Prakriti E-Mobility, parent company of Evera. “With this fleet of Tata Motors electric vehicles, our launch of airport services at Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, is around the corner and will propel us further towards this goal. We also plan to expand to other cities to accelerate the adoption of EVs in the country by creating an end-to-end ecosystem. This partnership strategy with Tata Motors will further our vision and provide consumers with access to a network of safe mobility solutions across the country. We will continue to lead and shape the EV fleet with more such strategic partnerships.”
Today, Tata Motors says it is revolutionizing the Indian automotive market and leading the charge in e-mobility. With a dominant market share of 89% (YTD), over 45,000 EVs on the road so far across passenger and fleet segments, “we are committed to making EVs even more accessible to all through our EV ecosystem called ‘Tata uniEVerse’.” This includes working closely with other Tata Group companies such as Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Auto Components, etc.
An electric bus shop
Skipping carpooling to electric doesn’t mean it isn’t still important to electrify existing transportation systems that run on fossil fuels as well.
In another recent press release, Tata that it won the electric bus tender for Jammu and Srinagar, announced by Jammu Smart City Limited. As part of an initiative by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish a sustainable public transport network, Tata Motors will install electric buses in the twin cities of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government of Jammu & Kashmir has commissioned Tata Motors to supply it with 150 9-metre and 50 12-metre electric buses as part of its greener public transport initiative. For the next 12 years, it will be the responsibility of Tata Motors to operate and maintain these Starbus electric buses.
“With a major paradigm shift towards clean public transport, the citizens of Jammu and Srinagar need a green mobility solution,” said Shri. Arun Mehta, Chief Secretary, Govt. from Jammu and Kashmir. “We are delighted to re-establish our association with Tata Motors for our public transport needs. These electric buses will not only be a medium of commuting, but will also be an enabler to create an eco-friendly Jammu & Kashmir.”
Tata Motors 40 electric buses have been running in Jammu & Kashmir since 2019. In India, they have supplied a total of 715 electric buses to several cities. These buses have driven more than 40 million kilometers and had an uptime of 95%.
Tata Motors has received orders for 1,500 electric buses from Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), 1,180 electric buses from West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) and 921 electric buses from Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) as part of a tender floated by Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL). Tata Motors’ state-of-the-art research and development facilities have been constantly working to engineer innovative mobility solutions powered by alternative fuel technologies, including battery electric, hybrid, CNG, LNG and Hydrogen Fuel Cell technologies.
Featured Image of Tata Motors.
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