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Tata Motors unveils $A16,000 electric car

Tata Motors has introduced the Tiago EV, India’s lowest priced electric car.

September 29, 2022
29 September 2022

Tata Motors has launched India’s lowest priced electric car at a little under $A16,000 as the country’s only electric vehicle maker looks to draw in more buyers.

Tata leads India’s EV market, helped by government subsidies and high tariffs on imports.

Its move comes as domestic rival Mahindra & Mahindra is in talks with investors to raise up to $US500 million ($A768 million) for its EV unit and plans to launch its first electric sport-utility vehicle in January.

Tata’s Tiago EV, an electric version of its popular Tiago hatchback, will have a sticker price starting from 849,000 rupees ($A15,921). 

The bulk of cars sold in India, the world’s fourth-largest car market, are priced below $A23,000.

China, however, has some EV models that start as low as 32,800 yuan ($A6947).

The Tiago EV’s operating cost is expected to be about a seventh of the petrol version, making it a “compelling proposition”, said Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and its EV subsidiary.

“We are not chasing to be the lowest cost,” Chandra said, adding the aim was to pack in connected car features and other advanced technologies while keeping the price accessible.

Chandra said the car’s “disruptive” pricing would open new opportunities and markets for Tata in smaller towns and cities, where buyers tend to be more price-conscious.

Tata, India’s third-largest carmaker, last year raised $US1 billion from TPG for its EV unit at a $US9.1 billion valuation, and has outlined plans to launch 10 electric models by March 2026.

India’s car market is tiny compared to its population, with electric models making up just one per cent of total car sales of about three million a year but the government wants to grow this to 30 per cent by 2030.

The cheapest version of the Tiago EV – Tata’s third electric car – will have a driving range of 250km on a single charge while a more expensive version will offer a range of 315km.

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