Indian auto giant Tata Motors has launched its first ever EV hatch, hoping to capture a crucial slice of the extremely competitive small electric car market.
The electric car in question is the Tiago, and Tata will sell it in its home market for 849,000 rupees. That converts at today’s exchange rate to around $16,000, making it the cheapest electric car currently available in India.
The Tata Tiago EV (stylized as Tiago.ev) is an electric version of the company’s Tiago hatchback.
A total of seven variants will be available across two battery packs (19.2 kWh and 24 kWh) and two charging options (3.3 kW AC and 7.2 kW AC).
The Tiago EV comes with two battery options. The 19.2 kW variants are aimed at short and frequent city trips with a range of 250 kilometers estimated under the Modified Indian Driving Cycle (MIDC). Meanwhile, the 24kWh variants offer an MIDC range of 315 km for longer daily driving needs.
Based on Tata Motors’ in-house Ziptron technology, the Tiago EV will come with four different charging solutions, though its DC fast charging maxes out at 50kW and takes 57 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%.
A number of options will also be standard, including for the first time telematics, while the ZConnect app will offer 45 connected car functions including remote access to the air conditioning, vehicle location tracking and connection to smart watches.
Special introductory price for Tiago EV
Pricing for the Tiago EV will vary dramatically, starting at a special introductory price of 849,000 rupees for the first 10,000 customers. These cars will only be available in India and will be ex-showroom vehicles. Further, Tata will set aside 2,000 reservations for current owners of the Nexon EV and Tigor EV.
The introductory price of 849,000 rupees is for the base XE model with 19.2 kWh battery pack and 3.3 kW AC charging option. The introductory prices increase the seven variants to the XZ+ Tech LUX, which will be priced from 1,179,000 rupees.
Pre-orders will open on October 10 for a down payment of 21,000 rupees.
Although only drivers in India can order it, the Tiago EV is still a headline-grabbing launch.
The figure of 849,000 rupees converts to pretty much 10,000 USD. India’s next most affordable electric vehicle, Tata Motors’ compact sedan Tigor starts at around $15,000.
It is available in white, grey, plum purple, teal and a light blue ‘mist’.
Cheaper electric cars from India and China are catching attention
Both India and China’s automakers have a reputation for smaller and cheaper cars. The fact that automakers from both countries are replicating this feat for electric vehicles has already been noted by European rivals.
The introduction of yet another headline-grabbing small and cheap electric car should further push global automakers to compete.
“Having pioneered the electric vehicle market in India, we have successfully led its growth and penetration over the past few years,” said Shailesh Chandra, CEO of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and its electric vehicle subsidiary.
“We believe that ‘now’ is the right time to fast-forward the ongoing revolution towards the mobility of the future by introducing vehicles that will encourage the rapid adoption of electric cars.”
Tata says it will begin deliveries of the Tiago EV in January 2023.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has written about climate change, clean technology and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has reported on electric vehicles and clean technology for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transportation is his feet.