With global automakers turning their hungry eyes to the Indian market, domestic manufacturer Tata is hoping to establish itself as a serious competitor in the EV segment with its new Nexon.
The Nexon is the first Tata to employ the company's modernized EV powertrain tech, dubbed Ziptron. This packages a 130-hp electric motor and a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack not yet detailed.
This level of sophistication is commonplace among current-generation electrics sold in most EV-friendly markets, but Tata will be the only Indian manufacturer offering a package like this for domestic consumption. Tata is, after all, the parent company of Jaguar Land Rover, and it likely has access to some of the engineering expertise that went into the Jaguar I-Pace, among several other EVs under development.
Tata says the Nexon will have a range of approximately 186 miles and offer what the company describes as "zippy" performance, fast charging capability and off-road durability. Tata also touts its adherence to the IP67 standard for water- and dust-proofing, which will be important for promoting it to rural customers.
"We are proud to announce that Nexon EV will be available for personal buyers in India from Q4 (Jan-Mar) FY19-20," said Tata electric mobility president Shailesh Chandra in the company's announcement. "Powered by the cutting-edge Ziptron technology, Nexon EV promises to address the barriers that exist in the EV market today and will deliver a thrilling on-road performance, ensuring zero emission."
When it debuts later this year, the Nexon will join Tata's smaller, less sophisticated Tigor EV and Mahindra's e-Verito (sold elsewhere as a Dacia). Mahindra also sold the small e2o EV in its home market from 2016 until earlier this year; it is no longer being produced.
The Nexon is expected to cost less than $25,000 in India. Its strongest competition will come from import nameplates, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, and more competition will be joining the fray. Toyota plans to launch a range of EVs under the Suzuki brand starting in 2020.