Exactly a year ago, Tata Motors had revealed that it would reduce its platform count from six to just two, a strategy increasingly being adopted by auto manufacturers globally. Both the platforms, which will spawn the H5X SUV in early 2019 and the 45X hatchback in late 2019, can be electrified. The carmaker, however, may look at developing a third platform dedicated to electric vehicles if electric vehicle (EV) mobility in India picks up pace and accounts for 20-25 percent of the overall sales by 2026.
"If we assume that as much as 20-25 percent of overall sales are of EVs then a discussion on a dedicated EV platform is due earlier rather than later," Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors said on the sidelines of the 2018 Auto Expo. At present, electric vehicles account for less than 1 percent of India's total vehicle sales.
The carmaker's electric platform will be scalable to accommodate different top hats, but the design of the EV will depend on the vehicle segment that attracts a larger demand. Butschek believes electric vehicles have the potential to achieve critical mass on the back of fleets rather than private ownership.
"Primarily, the model could be positioned between 3.9-4.3m, or 4.5-4.8m. As of now, this kind of a platform will most probably get into the Indian market through fleets rather than the private sector because the latter will be smaller in comparison," Butschek added.
Tata Motors has already forayed into the passenger electric vehicle space with the Tigor EV, which was rolled out in December as a part of its order to supply electric vehicles to the government-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL).
Interestingly, Tata Motors could have an additional new platform if its radical-looking Racemo, built on the company's multi-material sandwich structure called MOFlex, sees the light of the day.
Auto Expo 2018 car and SUV image gallery
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