Tata Motors, one of India’s largest vehicle manufacturers, has announced a new made-in-India electric car called the Tiago EV, a 5-door hatchback based on the the company’s Ziptron electric car platform, which is optimized for driving conditions in India. The Tiago EV starts at around $10,000 with a 19.2 kWh battery and 3.2 kW charging. The company says it has a range of 250 kilometers. For around $14,500, drivers can upgrade to a 24 kWh battery version with 315 kilometers of range and a 7.2 kW charger.
Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata’s passenger car division, waxed eloquent in a company press release.
“Having pioneered the EV market in India, we have successfully led its growth and penetration over the last couple of years. We believe ‘now’ is the right time to fast forward the ongoing revolution towards the future of mobility by introducing vehicles that will encourage rapid adoption of EVs.
“With the launch of the Tiago EV, India’s first electric hatchback, the nation can take a giant leap forward in the quest for safe, clean and green mobility. It is an ideal fun hatch which offers premium safety and technology features, eco-friendly footprint, spirited performance, all made even more desirable with the added advantage of a low cost of ownership.
“It will be the first in its segment to offer best-in-class connected features as standard across all trims, that are usually offered in more premium cars. It comes with two options of battery packs and four different charging solutions, enabling customers to choose the combination that best serves their mobility needs.
“Furthermore, with an aim to make our EVs more accessible, with this launch we are entering 80 new cities, expanding our network to more than 165 cities. We are confident that this move will help more and more customers embrace EVs as their preferred mode for personal mobility. We remain focused to play our role in fulfilling India’s commitment towards reducing carbon footprint from auto emissions and will offer more choice to customers with a portfolio of 10 EVs by 2026.”
Motor1 reports the Tata Tiago EV uses a 55 kW (74 hp) permanent magnet synchronous electric motor powering the front wheels. It generates 114 Newton-meters (84 pound-feet) of instant torque. Tata says the new car scoots to 60 km/h in less than 6 seconds. Sales begin October 10.
“Scoots” may be a bit of an overstatement. The Tiago EV is no autocross machine. What it is, is a competent electric car specifically tailored to the needs and expectations of its intended customers. There is no shame in that. Not everyone needs an 8-passenger, 7,000-pound mini-shipping container on wheels. Sometimes adequate is good enough. The Tata Tiago EV is a competent car. Isn’t that enough?
I read yesterday that the average price of a new electric car in America is $67,000 — about $20,000 more than that average price of a new conventional car. That’s a problem. The EV revolution we so ardently wish for is not going to happen, at least not in North America, so long as the price of an electric car remains out of reach for many customers.
Chevrolet seems to be the only US manufacturer interested in giving Americans affordable electric cars with the Chevy Bolt and upcoming Chevy Equinox EV. Elon Musk can’t be bothered, while Ford and Hyundai/Kia seem to have no interest in pursuing the goal of affordable electric cars either.
It’s little wonder EV sales in America are hovering around 5% of the new car market. Would something like the Tata Tiago EV appeal to US drivers? We’ll never know. Tata doesn’t sell its cars in North America and has no plans to do so.
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