Mumbai-based carmaker Tata Motors aims to sell 50,000 electric vehicles by the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, company chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said during a shareholder meeting on Monday.
Tata, which makes cars, trucks, vans, tour buses, luxury cars and construction equipment, aims to sell 100,000 electric vehicles in 2023/24, Chandrasekaran said, according to Reuters.
The push for electric vehicles follows a national plan to ensure that up to 30% of all passenger car sales in India are electric by 2030, up from about 1% today. Electric scooters and electric bicycles will account for 80% of two-wheeler sales, up from 2% today. Given the Indian government’s high import duties on electric vehicles, getting citizens to go electric will depend largely on the success of local manufacturing.
After trying to bring its electric vehicles to the Indian market, Tesla seems to have abandoned efforts to set up a factory in the country. Tesla typically takes a “try-before-you-buy” approach when moving into new markets — importing vehicles to see how sales go before investing time and money in building a regional factory. Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Tesla was welcome to build a factory in the country, but would not allow the automaker to bring vehicles from China for sales and service, so Tesla did not proceed with those plans.
Tata currently sells three EV models including Nexon EV, Tigor EV and the latest Nexon EV Max. Unlike the path taken by many US automakers of building new electric vehicle production lines from the ground up, Tata says it is able to lower costs for the Indian consumer by retooling its successful internal combustion engine model, the Nexon, and equipping it with battery pack. . The Nexon starts at around $19,000, which isn’t exactly cheap for the average Indian driver, but is definitely in the upper-middle class range of the country.
Tata controls 90% of electric car sales in India and appears to be on track to meet its target of selling 50,000 electric vehicles by March 2022. The automaker’s June sales results show a total of 45,197 units sold, of which 3,507 were electric – the highest ever Tata has sold so far, up 433% from 658 last year.
Chandrasekaran was optimistic about the performance of Tata this fiscal year as the overall supply situation, including semiconductors, has improved and stabilised.