Tata Motors is actively looking at introducing all-wheel drive technology in electric versions of its sports utility vehicles, according to the company’s passenger car business head Shailesh Chandra.
The home-grown car major currently does not offer all-wheel drive trims in any of its existing product line-up which includes models such as Nexon, Harrier and Safari.
The company aims to have a portfolio of ten electric products by 2025, a mix of existing nameplates and all new models.
Tata Motors is looking at models across the Nexon range as possible candidates for the four-by-four (4X4) upgrade.
“Our focus will be to try to do it in the electric vehicles. We will work on this in the electric version of our future SUVs,” Tata Motors’ managing director of passenger vehicles and electric vehicles told PTI when asked if the company is also considering four-wheel drive trims in its SUV range.
Some of the products in the company’s expected lineup of 10 electric models would have the four-by-four capacity, he added.
The four-wheel drive mechanism allows power to flow into all four wheels of a vehicle, allowing it to overcome tough off-road conditions.
Competitor Mahindra & Mahindra already offers such transmission across models like XUV 700, Scorpio-N, Thar and Alturas G4.
Even Maruti Suzuki has introduced an all-wheel drive (AWD) trim in the recently launched mid-size SUV – the Grand Vitara.
Asked if Harrier and Safari, which currently only come with diesel powertrains, could be considered for a 4X4 upgrade, Chandra said it was difficult to justify investment as sales of such models remained dismal in the domestic market.
He further said, “First let’s move to the new world (electric) and then we will start giving such an option there…if Harrier and Safari sales start moving towards electric…then we can have four and four coming there.”
On the future of diesel cars, Chandra said the fuel would remain relevant for some time in the mid- and high-end SUV segments.
“This is where the play of diesel would be prominent. Beyond a certain emission norm, it would be difficult for diesel to really be seen as profitable. So in the next ten years, it is expected to come to a very low level,” Chandra said.
He said the company is looking to expand its CNG range in all relevant segments.
The Mumbai-based company currently has only two CNG models in its passenger car product line-up.
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