Tata Motors Thursday unveiled a new powertrain for its electric vehicles that will be deployed in a range of its upcoming models, including the one scheduled for launch early next year, which will help it lower cost by scaling up volume.
Despite government push towards electric vehicles (EVs) in the past few years, the numbers belie hope of any major uptick as the share of EVs stood at a paltry 2,027 units in the 3.4-million units market last year.
The volume in the first eight months of this year are just 1,000 units, and the lower numbers, according to Tata Motors, can be attributed to factors such as expectation of a reduction in GST rates on vehicles ahead of the budget, delay in getting FAME 2 certification besides the downturn in the
auto industry as a whole.
In the dictionary of Motor Vehicles, Powertrain is the mechanism that transmits the drive from the engine of a vehicle to its axle. The powertrain comprises the main components that generate power and deliver it to the road surface, water, or air. This includes the engine, transmission, drive shafts, differentials, and the final drive.
The new powertrain of Tata Motors — Ziptron — will help it drive the economies of scale on one hand and make new EVs more affordable for consumers on the other, the largest domestic auto maker told reporters here.
“Ziptron is designed in-house utilising our global engineering network. At the heart of our future EV line-up, this technology has been tested across 1 million km proving its reliability. With this, we hope to usher in a new wave of e-mobility and accelerate faster adoption of EVs,” said Tata Motors chief executive Guenter Butschek.
The carmaker sells electric variant of its compact car Tigor to both individual customers as well as to the government under it 10,000 units order from the designated company EESL. It also recently introduced a longer range version of the Tigor EV.
The new EVs powered by Ziptron will be launched in the March quarter, said Shailesh Chandra, head of EV division.
Ziptron is a 300-watts powertrain having a range of over 250 km, with 8 year battery warranty and adherence to the IP67 standards (ingress protection). It also comes with an efficient permanent magnet AC motor providing superior performance on demand.
Justifying the lower range, the company said an EV buyer does not need more than 400 km range on a full charge as the average distance a car generally travels is much lower.
“We don’t need a 450-km range EV when the actual driving usage range is 150 km,” said Butschek but admitted that optimising the battery is crucial in this market.
He also said the company will leverage other Tata group companies in its electric car journey.
He said the auto industry is not united yet to give a message that ICE and EVs are two sides of the same coin. “I don’t think electric or shared mobility is an enemy, but complementary to each other. This message was just missed to be explicitly mentioned by the government. This is the message even we as the industry have been missing.”
“There is a very clear message, that we need focus but we have to coexist,” Butscheck said.
Developed by over 350 engineers, the new powertrain addresses the issues such as range anxiety, driving
performance and safety, said Chandra.
Owing to high price tag that an EV generally comes with, Tata Motors would not venture into small entry level segment at this stage, he said.
As per an internal study carried out by the company, consumers are willing to pay 20-25 percent more for an EV over a gasoline or diesel car. PTI IAS BEN