Tata Nexon EV is an affordable Indian electric car

Tata Nexon EV is an affordable Indian electric car
Tata Nexon EV

Tata Nexon EV is an affordable Indian electric car that was revealed on 19 December 2019 and is already being delivered to customers in India.

This electric car looks good and has decent specs for its starting price of 1.399.000 Indian rupees (16.163 euros). In some ways it’s similar to the upcoming Dacia Spring.

 

Tata Nexon EV

 

Let’s see what the Tata Nexon EV has to offer.

 

  • Length: 3.993 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2.498 mm
  • Width 1.811 mm
  • Height 1.606 mm
  • Curb weight: 1.400 kg
  • Boot space: 350 L
  • Motor: 95 kW and 245 Nm of torque
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 9,9 seconds and 0-60 km/h in 4,6 seconds
  • Max speed: 120 km/h
  • On-board charger: 15 A, charging 10-90 % in 8 and half hours
  • DC fast charging: 0-80 % in 60 minutes via CCS 2
  • Battery: 30,2 kWh (liquid cooled)
  • Range: 312 km (MIDC)
  • Motor and battery warranty: 8 years or 160.000 km
  • Vehicle warranty: 3 years or 125.000 km

 

Notice that the MIDC (Modified Indian Driving Cycle) is even more unrealistic than the now obsolete Europe’s NEDC. In the more realistic WLTP test cycle the range would be around 200 km and the consumption around 17 kWh/100 km.

 

Battery of Tata Nexon EV

 

While not confirmed, it seems that the 30,2 kWh battery of the Tata Nexon EV uses NCM battery cells made by LG Chem.

 

Tata made sure that the Nexon EV complies with more demanding international safety standards (NCAP), this might indicate that the automaker will eventually export this electric car to EV-hungry markets like Europe. China is less probable because of high import tariffs and this market already has a lot of affordable electric cars available.

 

Anyway, next week we’ll have more details on the Dacia Spring. Based on the Renault City K-ZE it’ll probably get a 30 kWh battery (26,8 kWh usable), a WLTP range of 200 km and a starting price of 15.000 euros before government subsidies. While it seems to be a good price for the European market, it’ll still cost twice as much as the popular ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car Dacia Sandero…

If the Dacia Spring gets decent specs, availability and price it might prevent the imminent arrival of affordable Chinese and Indian electric cars in Europe. I know that Chinese and Indian automakers are eager to get a slice of the European affordable electric car market, especially now that Volkswagen left the segment unattended by discontinuing the triplets.

After dominating the affordable electric car segment and building up trust with their customers, Chinese and Indian automakers can then move to more profitable segments. This is a smart strategy that was successfully applied by Chinese smartphone makers like Huawei, Xiaomi or Oppo.

This is why I think that European automakers are risking a lot by ignoring the affordable electric car segment and leaving an open door for competitors… Volkswagen will regret its decision very soon.

 

I’ll leave you with a video review of the Tata Nexon EV. I like it, do you?

 

 

 

More info:

https://nexonev.tatamotors.com/

https://www.tatamotors.com/press/tata-motors-announces-its-cutting-edge-ev-technology-brand-ziptron/

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.
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Maximilian Holland
Maximilian Holland
22 days ago

Thanks Pedro!

Rodri
Rodri
22 days ago

I like it, though 40 kWh battery and 0 to 80% in 30 minutes would serve me better as a first and only car. Lets see if they bring some price competition to the market or they try to absorb Government incentives like European brands do. Ten thousand cars wonΒ΄t do it, they need to arrive in Europe at high volume to shift the market.

Maximilian Holland
Maximilian Holland
21 days ago
Reply to  Rodri

40 kWh and 30 min charging will come soon enough. Right now this is a great value EV that will suit many folks who rarely drive longer journeys (or those who do, but who aren’t in a big rush).

Leo B
Leo B
22 days ago

Although I really hope some Chinese manufacturers will start offering affordable BEVs in Europe, I have some doubts it will really happen. For several reasons.

First of all, cars are not smartphones, they operate at a very different price point. Anyone can afford a smartphone, but a car is a major investment for almost anyone. So difficult to compare.

Second, marketing. If we think of cheap Chinese products, we quickly think of stuff we buy in 1-euro-stores or almost free stuff on AliExpress. Often these products are of really low quality. As Chinese brand you want to avoid being associated with these types of throw-away stuff.
On top of that, there’s the sensitive political situation you need to address as Chinese brand. Anytime the Dutch car website I follow publishes an article on, let’s say the MG ZS, some of the reader comments will be like “I don’t want a car made by Uighur slaves”.

Third, price. The MG ZS I mentioned sells well below €20.000 in China (that’s including VAT and an incentive of about €3.000), but in Europe it’s €30.000 or more. All non-EU cars face an 10% import duty and shipping is relatively expensive, especially in lower numbers. So competing solely at price will be a challenge.

So one of the options could be local assembly or production. Set up a production line in Europe, import batteries from China and build or assemble (as CKD kits) cars locally. That would require an upfront investment, takes time and is higher risk than importing, but it may lead to lower prices. I don’t know if Chinese manufacturers are considering this, but I think there’s a very low volume CKD assembly plant of Great Wall somewhere in Eastern Europe.

A more likely scenario is in my opinion that Chinese manufacturers will offer high value products at slightly reduced prices. To make the smartphone comparison after all: like what Oppo did with its OnePlus brand.
I think there are two areas where Chinese manufacturers have a distinct advantage over the European competition: availability of cheap batteries and software integration (anything that has to with internet-of-things, autonomous features, etc). A lot of money is spend on smart cities and vehicle-to-everything features by both car makers and the many Chinese tech giants like Baidu, Tencent or Alibaba.
I think if Chinese manufactures will bring their most advanced cars, with all the ‘cool stuff’ like valet parking, self driving or the ability to control your home from the car, and sell them a few thousands euros below the European competition, they will have a chance.

When the Japanese and Korean manufactures came to Europe, they started at the bottom of the market. Cheap, relatively well-made and equipped cars that undercut the competition. The problem for the Chinese is, that a cheap BEV is still as expensive (or even more expensive) as a regular ICE car. So they can undercut the BEV market, but still face the ICE cars from the European competition head on. Therefor I think it will be difficult to replicate the Japanese or Korean entry to the global market and they need a different strategy.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
22 days ago
Reply to  Leo B

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Leo.

I really think that a Leapmotor T03 for 15.000 euros would be more successful in Europe than a BYD Han EV for 40.000 euros. At those prices both would offer great value for money, but customers would risk less money with the T03.

After brands prove their reliability they can sell more expensive products.

I also think that production should be localized. It would reduce costs and gain some sympathy from customers.

Leo B
Leo B
21 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

I agree that a Leapmotor T03 at €15.000 would find buyers, but I think the problem is that they can’t sell it at that price. In China the car costs about €9.000 for the main versions, there is a cheaper basic one I disregard for now. That price includes Chinese taxes and incentives. Now most NEVs are exempt of most of China’s specific purchase or consumption taxes, so I think only VAT remains, which is either 9% or 13% now (there was a Covid-related lowering). Anyway, it’s much lower than in Europe. I also think the T03 qualifies for the maximum incentive of about €3.000. To bring it to Europe we have €9.000 + €1.000 (VAT) + €3.000 (incentive) + €1.000 (import tariff) + €1.000 – 1.500 (transport) = €15.000-15.500 (roughly). Then there has to be some kind of local organisation that takes care of marketing, supply, sales, service, etc. and has to make some money as well. So realistically you’re looking at around €18.000 or so. Of course, there are no European BEVs at that price, but people will notice that you can also have a Kia Picanto or even a basic VW Polo for the same money or less. Some countries offer incentives for BEVs, so there the Leapmotor may have an opportunity.

When I said “high value” cars I did’t mean the Nio’s or BYD Han’s necesarilly. I was thinking about for example about the Xpeng G3. It sells for €20.000-25.000 in China, which means it should be able to sell for €30.000-35.000 in Europe. Then you have a high-tech car with good range, but clearly more affordable than the VW ID3 of Kia e-Niro. If I was a Chinese BEV manufacturer with aspirations for the European market, I would focus on “high-tech” and “affordable” (which is not the same as cheap). Then again, I’m an engineer, not a market analist.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
21 days ago
Reply to  Leo B

Thanks Leo.

Xpeng G3 does seem to be a great electric car. It costs 358.000 NOK (32.701 euros) in Norway where EVs are VAT exempt. In most European countries where is average VAT is 20 %, the price will likely increase to 40.000 euros.

https://store.xpeng.no/newG3Model.html?vehicle_model_id=G3

By the way, electric cars in China will continue to be VAT exempt, at least until 2022.

https://www.electrive.com/2020/04/23/chine-extends-ev-sales-tax-exemption-til-2022/

Leo B
Leo B
21 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

//By the way, electric cars in China will continue to be VAT exempt, at least until 2022.//

Chinese tax is really complicated. On vehicles there are several taxes layered upon each other. Then there are seller and buyer side taxes. The article you refer to says that BEVs will continue to be exempt from purchase tax. This is a buyer side tax that is not included in the prices you see on Chinese trading websites. (Meaning: all non-BEV vehicles are actually 10% more expensive for the buyer than on those trading sites).

Included in the prices on those websites are (seller side taxes):
VAT
Consumption tax (based on cylinder volume of the engine, BEV exempt)
Luxury tax (for some high performance vehicles, BEV exempt)
Import tariff (imported vehicles only)
Federal NEV incentive (NEV only)

Not included (buyer side taxes):
Purchase tax (10%, BEV exempt)
Assorted local/provincial taxes and incentives.
License plate fees (ranging from a few yuan in rural areas to 1000s of yuan in big cities, NEV usually exempt or lower)

Maximilian Holland
Maximilian Holland
21 days ago
Reply to  Leo B

There are ways around the quality/trust perception – offer very long warranties, and buy European brand labels. MG is the classic example, but so is Polestar.

Or just partner with international brands like DongFeng is doing with Renault/Dacia and the K-ZE / Spring: this one will really shake up the market, which is needed in Europe – am looking forward to the price point announcement.

I like the path of local assembly idea to reduce import tariffs.

Famlin
Famlin
21 days ago

Nice to see India joining the electric bandwagon, they even have electric buses & trucks coming in slowly.
Indian traffic is heavy and the speed is just around 15 km/l which means the MIDC could be more realistic. They restricted top speed to 120 km/h so that the highway driving dont suck the electricity.

For BEVs slow driving is more fuel efficient. Also the vehicle at 1.400 kg is much lighter than Nissan Leaf.

By the way, Indians use km/l, so for BEVs, it should translate to km/KWh. So its 5.8 km/KWh. Same applies for all south asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal.