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Tata Motors has been in the spotlight ever since it raised the curtains on its state-of-the-art EV powertrain technology on September 19. Named ZIPTRON, this technology is aimed a being at the heart of the Indian car-manufacturing giant’s future EV line-up, according to its CEO and MD, Guenter Butschek.

Butschek proclaims: “This technology will deliver a thrilling driving experience to our customers aspiring to go green. Rigorously tested across 1 million kms, ZIPTRON technology is well proven, advanced and reliable. With this technology, we hope to usher in a new wave of eMobility in India and acclerate faster adoption of EVs, supporting the Government’s vision.”

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Days before the release, Auto Futures caught up with Shailesh Chandra, Tata Motors’ President – Electric Mobility Business and Corporate Strategy at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, who shed some light on Tata Motors’ EV strategy and the electric revolution in India.

“Initial seed demand by the government of India have provided much-needed boost to the electric vehicles industry in India. Tata Motors has been prompt in leveraging on this seed demand by winning majority of electric cars and buses tenders. We also have been selling electric cars to the commercial fleet segment. These actions have helped Tata brand being associated with being front-runners in the area of electrification and having an ability to deliver the whole ecosystem solution,” says Chandra.

“Further, Product strategy has been developed to ensure presence of Tata vehicles in all the relevant commercial and passenger vehicle segments.”

Mr. Shailesh Chandra, President – Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy, Tata Motors

India is seeing a push from all corners when it comes to electrification. While the government is playing a big part in this, a move like the launch of the ZIPTRON from a major brand in the region like Tata Motors might signal the EV shift in India.

Chandra, however, credits the government entirely for this: “The EV shift in India is determined primarily by the strong intent and thrust of the Indian government. They have acted very swiftly in putting all the ecosystem enablers in place to drive electrification.

“Tata Motors has only accelerated its efforts to support the benevolent initiative of the government. We believe that it is a clear imperative for a country facing severe pollution that is causing premature deaths every day.”

“Electric mobility presents a promising way to balance its needs on energy security as well as environmental protection. So far the adoption of EVs has been at a nascent stage. There are four major challenges for the adoption of electric vehicles: lack of choices of multiple products with optimal range, unavailability of charging infrastructure, range anxiety, economic viability of electric vehicle vis-à-vis its ICE counterpart,” said Chandra, speaking about the rise in adoption of EVs in India and the main challenges that the country has to overcome.

“Nevertheless, with Government’s continued thrust on accelerated adoption of e-mobility through enabling policies such as FAME II, GST reduction, interest waiver, continued reduction in battery prices and other critical components, expected increase in the price of ICEs post BSVI, we clearly foresee a significant rise in demand for electric vehicles in the coming years. Government of India has set a target of achieving 30% EV penetration by 2030 and we are committed to make it a reality.”

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Chandra feels that the time is now right for electrification to take over in India and should all the stakeholders of this process, which includes the government, carmakers and the larger automotive industry, come together, the change will be significant one.

“With the strong government push and the automotive industry’s inclination towards EVs, India has most of the puzzle pieces in place for significant growth of E-mobility in the country. However, ecosystem players such as OEMs, Government agencies, financial institutions, and startups have to address challenges as stated earlier for enabling greater adoption of electric vehicles,” said Chandra.

“With the recent announcement by the government on incentives, viability gap between EVs and ICE vehicles has significantly reduced. For some of the use cases such as commercial fleet, TCO (total cost of ownership) has become more attractive vis-à-vis an ICE vehicle. Further, OEMs have announced 20+ EV products over next 2-3 years. Customer needs to be educated about this fact.” 

Charging infrastructure is one of the major unaddressed barrier for EV adoption. As proven by various global studies, customers prefer to charge at locations, which they visit as a part of their routine. Therefore, it is important to install charging stations at such locations to make charging infrastructure more pervasive and increase EV adoption. Government guidelines should promote such format.

“We will continue to work with other group companies in the Tata Ecosystem, leveraging their strength and expertise, as well as with other select partners to help create a viable environment to drive adoption of electric vehicles in India,” he concludes.

At the same time as the launch of ZIPTRON, Tata Motors also rolled out the ZIPTRON Freedom 2.0 marketing campaign aimed at highlighting how this technology provides freedom from pollution and addreses range anxiety.

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