© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Tata Avinya concept car is unveiled during a global launch event in Mumbai, India, April 29, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
By Aditi Shah
MUMBAI (Reuters) – Tata Motors (NYSE:) plans to launch electric cars with a minimum range of 500 kilometres (310 miles) and advanced technology features, targeting buyers in India and beyond, the company said on Friday.
The first cars built using its new platform should be on the road in 2025, the company told an event in Mumbai where it unveiled a concept model.
Tata is striving to position itself alongside global automakers that are investing billions of dollars to build electric vehicles (EVs) that meet stricter climate change and carbon reduction goals.
Tesla (NASDAQ:)’s Model 3 EV can have a range of over 500 kms, according to its website, and by 2025 industry analysts say that should be close to the norm.
“We have pivoted to make all the strategic investments that are necessary to not only accelerate the adoption but lead this whole movement,” said N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Motors.
“Our goal is to go global eventually,” he said.
Rolling out EVs is central to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s carbon reduction agenda, and his administration is offering companies billions of dollars in incentives to build electric cars and their components locally.
By 2030, India wants electric models to make up 30% of total car sales. Chandrasekaran said he expects Tata to go beyond the goal of 30% by 2030 without giving figures.
Source told Reuters this week Tata expects to ramp up EV annual production to more than 80,000 units this financial year, representing four-fold growth from the previous year.
Last year, the company announced plans to launch 10 EV models by March 2026, investing about $2 billion in new vehicle architecture, related technology and infrastructure.
The automaker accounts for 90% of India’s EV sales – a segment that only represents 1% of the country’s annual sales of about 3 million vehicles.
Giving Tata more flexibility to source components, the vehicles built on the new platform will be agnostic to battery chemistries and battery cell formats, Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility said at Friday’s event.
Chandra also said the batteries will have higher density and be more durable than those in its earlier generation of cars.
The new cars will be roomier, have enhanced connectivity features and better performance in India’s hot weather conditions and on its dusty roads, he said.
The new platform represents the third phase of Tata’s electrification plans that were supported by a $1 billion investment from private equity firm TPG last year.