Back in December last year, we had exclusively reported that Tata Motors is working on a long-range version of the Nexon EV. Now, a camouflaged test mule of the updated Nexon EV has been spied testing on our roads ahead of its launch in the coming months. The test mule does not hint at any major cosmetic upgrades, although there will be quite a few important changes under its skin.
- Nexon EV to gain a larger 40kWh battery pack
- Expected to get disc brakes on all four wheels
- Will likely be sold alongside the current 30.2kWh variant
Long-range Tata Nexon EV: what do the spy shots reveal?
This new spy shot, despite the test mule being wrapped in camouflage, suggests that there will not be many significant cosmetic updates on the upcoming long-range Nexon EV. The projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, the front bumper with Tata’s tri-arrow elements and fog lamps, the dual-tone roof and the overall profile of the SUV are quite identical to the current model. Similarly, we do not expect any significant changes to the interior either.
What’s noticeably new on this test mule are a set of five-spoke alloy wheels, similar to the Dark Edition models of the Nexon and Nexon EV. A larger battery would make the SUV heavier than the current model (by an estimated 100kg), which would warrant four-wheel disc brakes for additional stopping power, which could, in turn, lead to the alloy wheel design being updated.
Long-range Tata Nexon EV: major upgrades under the skin
The biggest update on the Nexon EV will be a larger 40kWh battery pack. That’s a significant 30 percent increase from the current model’s 30.2kWh. To accommodate the larger battery pack, there will be modifications to the Nexon EV’s floor pan, and the boot space is also believed to have been sacrificed.
However, this trade-off is expected to significantly boost range. Currently, the Nexon EV has an ARAI-claimed range of 312km, and the updated model could have a range of over 400km on the official test cycle. Thus, a real-world range of 300-320km can be expected on a single charge. For reference, in our tests of the current Nexon EV, we managed a real-world range of 200-220km on a single charge.
The updated Nexon EV is also expected to feature selectable re-gen modes that allow the driver to alter the intensity of regenerative braking, which, in turn, improves range. Currently, regen on the Nexon EV is variable and mild, but isn't adjustable. The updated SUV is also expected to get Electronic Stability Program (ESP).
Long-range Tata Nexon EV to be sold alongside current model
Given the larger battery and other technical upgrades on the long-range Nexon EV, its prices are expected to be pushed up by an estimated Rs 3 lakh-4 lakh.
However, the key to the success of the Nexon EV has been its well judged ‘price-to-range’ ratio, which has found a sweet spot among early adopters of electric vehicles. At this end of the market, buyers are, of course, more sensitive to price than range. The Nexon EV is considerably more affordable than other electric SUVs in the market, and although its real-world range of around 200km is lesser than rivals, it’s mainly used as a city runabout. Tata will surely not want to let go of the Nexon EV’s biggest USP.
However, with growing popularity of EVs and charging infrastructure steadily improving, electric vehicle owners are starting to venture out of the city. With public charging stations on highways still far and few in between, real-world range then becomes critical. This is exactly where Tata Motors will be hoping to tap in with the long-range version of the Nexon EV. Thus, there's a case for both models to exist simultaneously, serving different needs to different buyers.
Long-range Tata Nexon EV: rivals
The long-range Nexon EV will now be able to bridge this gap with a more comparable battery pack and range. However, with an estimated price of around Rs 17 lakh-18 lakh (ex-showroom), the locally manufactured long-range Nexon EV will still maintain a price advantage over its rivals that come to India via imported CKD (completely knocked down) kits.
That said, the MG ZS EV is due to receive a facelift with a larger battery pack, and should once again be able to put some distance between itself and the updated Nexon EV.
Do you think the long-range Nexon EV will be suitable for outstation highway drives? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credit - Sameer Pathak