• Ashu Bisht

Tesla or Tata: Among These Electric Car Companies in India Who Will Rule The EV Market of India

Future is of electric cars and competition is growing day by day between the electric car companies in India. Tata and Tesla are two giants in this industry. Initially, when the news of Tesla starting a company in India appeared, it created a huge uproar in the electric car market and among the car enthusiasts. But, is it really a big news or we the people have made it into a big hotshot. Let us check this closely.

Tesla’s hold on Electric Vehicle Market in India

Tesla coming to India is a big news regarding electric vehicle in the recent times. The news of Tesla electric car coming to the Indian roads created a great pandemonium in the entire Indian electric car industry. The weird thing is that many American car companies have came to India previously but there was no such uproar. This made us think what is it that makes Tesla different or makes it stand out in the electric car industry. The answer to this is that- Tesla is not the product of Detroit but it is Silicon Valley and India is in love with Silicon Valley. Then there is also the person -the head of Tesla who is a known name in every Indian household. If you ask people about American automobile tycoon then they would straightforwardly take two names-first Henry Ford and second- Elon Musk.

Tesla-The American Electric car manufacturer

Elon Musk- the main face behind Tesla Motors and the CEO since 2008 majorly led the initial funding for Tesla. At present, the company is the best selling plug-in and battery electric car manufacturer in the world. Exporting its models to over 30 countries, the company’s main aim is to commercialize the usage of electric vehicles and initiate a step towards a greener path.

Among the Indian population, Elon Musk has a fame of being a reputed businessman. He has a different outlook and has done several things to help people around. They are also of the opinion that his company is a very good company. So from the views and opinions of the common people we can understand that Elon Musk has a reputation of a good and productive tech tycoon.

Tesla eyeing the electric vehicle market in India & its first offering

In terms of market share and revenue, Tesla has grown substantially over the past decade. Today, it generates annual revenue of 20 million dollars. After venturing into many foreign markets, the American giant is eyeing the Indian electric vehicle market.

According to reports, Tesla’s Model 3 will be its first offering in India and it will be bought through the CBU (completely built unit) route. It means that it will be fully imported. Its prices are expected to be upwards of Rs 60 lakh. However, certain incentives and rebates on it are being expected to be offered by the government. It is also being assumed that once it receives a good response Tesla might move local manufacturing and this would help it to further reduce prices. Competition will be tough for the electric car companies in India.

By entering the Indian market, the car giant- Tesla has decided to add to a prospective buyer’s choices. The brand is well known for its Tesla Cybertruck, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model Y cars. The first offering from the Tesla brand is likely to tug it out in the Pickup Trucks segment.

Tesla’s Model 3 to be soon available in India

With the news of Tesla’s Model 3 to be launched in India, car enthusiasts are full of excitement and are trying to get the answers for several questions that sprung up in their mind. Some of the most common questions asked by the people include-

  • When will Model 3 be launched in India?

  • What is the cost of Tesla’s Model 3 in India?

  • Is Tesla’s Model 3 worth it for the Indian roads?

  • How long will Tesla Model 3 last?

  • Is Model 3 by Tesla a family car?

Tesla Model 3- Features, Specifications & Price

Tesla has made safety in its Model 3 the most significant element. Safety is the most important part of the entire Model 3 design. The metal structure of the car is made of a combination of aluminum and steel, giving it maxium strength in every area. In a roof-crush test, the Model 3 endured four times its own mass, even with an all-glass roof: the equivalent of the weight of two full-grown African elephants. The Model 3 is available with optional dual-motor all-wheel drive, 20-inch overspeed wheels, and a lowered suspension ( Performance Brakes ) that provides total control in all weather conditions. And a carbon fiber spoiler is added that improves stability at high speeds. All of these allows the Model 3 to accelerate from 0-60 mph* in just 3.1 seconds.

Tesla All-Wheel Drive has two independent motors for improved redundancy, each with only one moving part for minimal maintenance and maximum durability. Unlike conventional all-wheel-drive systems, torque to the front and rear wheels is controlled digitally, resulting in much better handling and traction control. Tesla’s Model 3 is completely electric, and so its owner will never have to visit a gas station again. Charge it overnight at home and you can wake up to a full battery every morning. And when you're on the road, you can easily recharge at any public gas station or through the Tesla charging network. Currently, there are more than 25,000 Superchargers worldwide, with six new locations opening every week.

Built around the driver

The inside of the Model 3 is different from any other car. Your smartphone can be used as a key and you can access all the controls of the car from the central 15-inch touchscreen. IT has an all-glass roof feature that extends from front to back, giving a sense of openness from every seat.

Electric vehicle market in India - Rising interest for electric cars among the Indians

Here, the question that arises is that-why in India people are being so interested in electric car. The entire world is becoming electronic and nothing is different for India. The country is advancing in its electrification sphere. Again, pollution is also one of the major problems in India and this has led to the people’s rising interest in electric vehicles.

Hormazd Sorabjee, Editor, Autocar India, stated, “We are also committed towards the reduction of carbon footprint and carbon emission, and to reduce the use of fossil fuel is a part of it. Among countries to export crude oil, India is in the third place and in the present time, fuel prices are skyrocketing. This is one of the main reasons why Indian Government is investing in the sector of EBS (Electronic Braking System). For cheap EBS, subsidies are also available.”

How Tesla plans to fit in into the electric vehicle market in India

We know that Tesla cars are not cheap. Now we have to wait and look forward the effect of these cars in the Indian EBS market and market strategies of Tesla.

Srinivas Krishnan, automotive and car expert said, “Tesla coming to India has a great significance. Indian Government is putting all its effort to make the propaganda of 'Make in India' a success. It wants all the major companies from across the globe to invest in India and make it a business hub for not only the domestic but also the international business market.”

It is a signal for the international companies to invest in India. If Tesla comes to India then its economy will raise manifold. But, it is yet to be seen where in Indian electric car market Tesla fits.

Luxury Car Market in India

Indian luxury car market has always been traditional and small. Here, small and medium cars are popular among the car enthusiasts. And, in the recent times, SUV cars have gained popularity among the car lovers. Luxury cars beyond 40 thousands have never came into the Indian car market. The year 2018 has been the most successful years for the car market in India.

Nearly 37000 luxury cars came into the market in that year. This number is just 2% of the entire Indian car market and in this Tesla will also have a very small part. Given that Tesla will have to work with a very small volume and with this small volume they will have to operate.

The segment of luxury car is really a small segment in India so it is not about volume. Apart from Tesla, in the Indian EBS field various other things are going on. Creators like Ather Energy and Ola Electric are looking forward to increase the manufacturer of electronic two wheelers.

A few years back, the India car company Mahindra bought the electric car company Reva. Now, the effort is to make electric car available to every household.

Contribution of Tata Motors in electric vehicle market in India

When we talk about the electronic vehicles made in India, the only name that pops up is Tata Motors. Tata Motors started as Locomotive Company in 1945 but in the late 1980s, it merged with Mercedes Benz and started to manufacture trucks and buses. Eventually Tata started to manufacture cars.

Tata Sierra that came in the 1980s became a huge hit on the roads and is remembered by everybody even today. Among the large pool of Ambassador and Premier Padmini cars, cars made by Tata Motors have their own and a different charm. Mobile, Sierra, Estate, Sumo and Safari by Tata really stood out. And in 2020, Tata's Nexon became the most favorite EV in India. The cheaper version of this car is priced at less than 15 lakhs and thus it comes under the perimeter of government subsidy.

Shailesh Chandra, Tata Motors said, “By now we would have sold around 6000 to 6500 EV and in this around 4500 would have been Tata Nexon. Based on our run rate, I can assure you that we would reach the mark of 5000.”

People’s reaction on electric cars

Though Nexon EV offers excellent performance yet people are confused and hesitate to purchase an electric car. This is due to various reasons. People tend to ask several questions when it comes to EV. They question-

  • How long an electric car will last?

  • Are electric cars safe?

  • How long an electric car can run once it is fully charged?

  • Are electric cars good enough for Indian roads? Etc.

People are of the opinion that India has to invest a lot in its infrastructure development and there are no charging booths for electronic cars. Unless there is enough charging booth it would be a bit difficult for the electronic cars to run on the Indian roads.

About Tata Group

Now, here, the things become a bit interesting. Until now we have been talking about Tata Motors but when we talk about the Tata Group, it is not just about cars. It has a range of products. The company is so powerful that in 2005, it helped Narain Karthikeyan to be the first Indian Formula one Driver. Then, Tata Communications was the major sponsor. But apart from cars and racing.

Tata is everywhere. The company produces salt, tea, watches and jewelry. It also has its own airline company, luxury hotel chain in entire India. From electronics to grocery, Tata has a hold in every market.

The most important business segments of Tata Group

Tata Group is enormous and has its hold in almost every business. But when we talk about its most important segments, then Tata Power and Tata Chemicals come into the scenario. These two segments are the most significant part of the company. Tata Power is one of the country's largest producers of energy and Tata Chemicals produces lithium ion batteries.

Tata Group is now planning to extend its business in Indian electric car market. However, now we have to see how Tata plans to be the end-to-end provider in the field of EV.

Shailesh Chandra stated, “We have identified the cities where we would install the charging booth in maximum, we have even chosen the highway to connect the cities and shrubs in and around the high demand cities. Through fast chargers, we are trying to connect all the highways. While Tata Chemicals apart from manufacturing cells, it is also looking for different ways of recycling.”

Tesla OR Tata: Who will rule the Indian electric car market?

It is not like that India doesn't need Tesla but all the hard work is being done by the local companies. So though people are yet confused regarding the EV technology, the policy makers have already set their foot in the electric future.

Other players in the Electric vehicle market in India

There are also other players in the market, like the Ola who is planning to install 1 lakh charging points across India. Reports suggest that Maruti and Toyota also have great plans for EV. It is being assumed that these companies might bring electronic cars in large quantity in the market by 2024, with a plan to bring around 40000 to 50000 electric cars every year.

Mahindra has its own plan, Tata Motors is in the new phase of electrification, while Honda at present is looking into hybrid solutions. Kia and Hyundai also have an eye for the EV market. Earlier, to enter the EV market was threat but now not to be a part of the EV market is counted as threat.

Many opine that to be the champion of Electric vehicle market in India, one doesn't need to get a Tesla or look forward to Elon Musk. Engineering students and youth are manufacturing sturdy and durable small sized electronic cars. So it doesn't matter even if Tesla is providing cheaper cars, there is no reason to waste money on them. A commoner stated, “For me, I would better opt to purchase a local made electric car and this way I could provide support and fund to our Indian electric car companies .

So, Tesla coming to India is a big thing without any doubt but this is not everything. In fact, Indian brands can only change India's future of electric car and take its market forward. As it is said, revolution starts from home.

Please do share your views regarding Tesla coming to India. Is it really a big thing or whether Tata Motors will change the future of electric vehicle market in India. Please comment below, according to you who will rule among these electric car companies in India?