Tata Motors recently launched the country’s most affordable electric car, the Tiago EV, at a starting price of Rs 8.49 lakh. The first electric hatchback is being pitted as a game changer and is another feather in Tata’s growing EV line-up. However, the Tiago EV’s launch came days after rival automaker Maruti Suzuki launched the Grand Vitara hybrid, which has managed to spark a sustainable mobility wave in its own right.
Considering Tata Motors has launched the Nexon EV Prime, Max and now the Tiago EV in 2022, we wondered why the automaker is sticking to EVs and if there are any plans to venture into hybrids any time soon. Here is what Tata Motors’ Head of Marketing, Vivek Srivatsa, told TOI Auto in an exclusive interaction.
Tiago EV launched at Rs 8.49 lakh
Responding to whether Tata Motors has any plans to introduce hybrid technology in their cars, Srivatsa said, “Not at all. The reason is that hybrids are a transitional technology. Worldwide it has been acknowledged that to meet the United Nations’ COP26 targets and beyond, electrification of the passenger industry is the only solution. If countries won’t do that they will not achieve the targets, so EV is clearly the direction being adopted by all the manufacturers worldwide, as the more sustainable way of personal transportation.”
Srivatsa strongly believes that hybrid technology will only be there for a few years before getting phased out based on commitments made by countries and manufacturers. Then there is also the matter of what is more economical for a consumer, between an EV and a hybrid. For instance, the Tiago EV can run 1,000 km for approximately Rs 1,100. On the other hand, its ICE counterpart would set back users approximately Rs 6,500 to cover the same distance.
Vivek Srivatsa, Head Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility
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<p>Vivek Srivatsa, Head Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility</p><h2><br></h2>
“In terms of technology, if you look at the customer benefits, with an EV you get a revolutionary different level of running cost. We are talking about a Rs 1 to 1.2 running cost per km. Whereas with hybrids, the difference in running cost is marginally lower than an ICE vehicle. So customers need to make an educated guess, in terms of, whether they would like to invest In a technology which will be there well into the future or something which is more temporary.” Srivatsa added.
However, lower running costs and zero emissions do not automatically mean that EVs are carbon neutral. There are other factors to consider, such as the carbon footprint of making an electric car, charging it and its overall life cycle. In countries such as India, charging an EV overnight would use more non-renewable energy from coal plants/high carbon intensity grids. Moreover, considering the limited availability of lithium-ion on the planet, hybrids can theoretically yield a higher number of lithium-powered electric vehicles in the long run as they require lower capacity battery packs when compared to pure electric vehicles.
2022 Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara strong hybrid
As per COP26 targets, India has committed to reaching 500 GigaWatts of non-fossil energy capacity in the next 8 years. The country is also focused on meeting 50 percent of our energy requirements through renewable energy sources and a reduction of total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030. India’s overall target is to achieve net zero emissions by the year 2070.
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