Tata Motors, the country’s largest electric car maker is likely to get an incremental sale of about 25,000 to 30,000 units from its newly launched Punch EV in the coming year.
Shailesh Chandra, MD of Tata Passenger Electric Mobility told Autocar Professional that the electric vehicles account for 18-20% of the company’s total sales and that with the Punch EV the penetration level for EVs will be quite similar.
Chandra feels that the Punch EV is a product which can really lure mass customers.
“We have moved from early adopters to an early majority. The introduction of new models like Punch at the core Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh segment will help push the electric vehicles into the mainstream. The vehicle will appeal to the core age group of 35-year-olds who are buying cars for the first time,” added Chandra.
The company has been selling an average of 13,000 to 15,000 Punch SUVs every month, so a 18-20% share means a volume of at least 2,000 to 2,500 units per month.
The head of Tata Motors electric car business expects the industry to cross the sales milestone of one lakh units in FY24 and the market is likely to grow by over 40% in the next financial year to 1.4 lakh units.
The Punch EV will help Tata Motors cross the one-lakh-unit annual sales mark for the first time in CY24, with 2023 sales ending at around 69,000 units. The Tiago hatchback and Nexon accounted for about 80-85% of its total EV sales and the balance sales came from the Tigor sedan.
Tata Motors has been single-handedly driving electric vehicle penetration in the country with a predominant share of over 70 percent. The Punch EV will help the company further consolidate its leadership and build volumes as new competition from Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Kia get ready to enter the mainstream EV market in the next 12-18 months.
While the company is likely to miss its one-lakh-unit annual sales mark for FY24, it is taking a series of steps to build momentum for EV adoption. Even the new product launches have been spread out.
Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Motors and Tata Sons had said that there would be four EV launches in FY24 at last year’s annual general meeting. While the Punch EV has hit the roads in January, the Curvv EV will be launched in the April to June quarter followed by the Harrier EV before the end of the calendar year.
Shailesh Chandra also told media persons that Sierra EV and Altroz EV are lined up for market introduction in 2025.
The company is also capitalising on falling battery prices by offering higher range alternatives of over 300-400 kilometres. It is offering more models with a higher range in the mainstream market. This can be seen in the case of the Punch EV. Tata Motors has also set up dedicated EV outlets to give a differential experience to the new-age EV customer.
While Tata Motors says more than 90% of its buyers use home chargers, it has tied up with multiple charge point operators to set up a network of over 17,000 chargers across the country in the coming few years.
Tata Motors has committed USD 2 billion investment in its EV business for the coming decade and it has already created a dedicated EV manufacturing line at Sanand at the acquired facility from Ford India.