Electric vehicles aren’t just the forte of international companies. The electric push in India has been substantial and it’s not just the big names of the world trying to be first movers but some of our own local manufacturers are looking to make the cut. Tata Motors has already fortified itself in the EV segment with Tata Nexon EV and the Tigor EV and has two new vehicles on the cards. Mahindra is entering the space with the recent unveiling of the XUV400. Then we have Ola which may not make it into the market this year but it is still exciting to see what a cab services company turned EV manufacturer comes up with after its S1 and S1 Pro scooters. All-in-all, the Indian electric market is promising despite the current lack of proper charging infrastructure, and it is only a matter of time till sales of EVs outnumber the traditional ICEs. Till that time, however, here are some of the electric vehicles we are almost impatiently waiting for from Indian manufacturers.
Mahindra XUV400 | We’ll start with the Mahindra XUV400. Unveiled just recently, the EV SUV’s price is set to be revealed this month while deliveries will start sometime in February or March. Based on the XUV300, much of the styling and panels remain the same. It is longer than its ICE counterpart, however, measuring 4,200 mm in length. But that’s not the only differentiator. Painted in blue, the XUV400 gets copper accents all around the car giving it a very premium look. The grille is closed because it isn’t used anymore and the Mahindra logo sits proud and centre. The interiors of the EV will be more premium as well. Powering the XUV400 is a 39.5 kWh battery pack mated to a single front axle motor that produces 150 hp. Mahindra claims 456 km on a single charge and also the fastest 0-100 km/h sprint time in an EV from an Indian manufacturer of just 8.3 seconds.
Tata Tiago EV | Tata is one of the few Indian manufacturers that already have a decent foothold in the electric market thanks to the Nexon EV and the Tigor EV. Their electrification plans, however, are much more than just the two with the Tiago already being launched and deliveries set to begin in January. The Tiago architecture is a direct ICE to electric conversion and as such doesn’t see that many changes. There are some not-so-subtle tells to differentiate the two like the closed off grille and blue accents. Two battery pack options allow for ranges of 250 km and 315 km, either of which comes mated to an electric motor that produces 74 hp of maximum power and 114 Nm of peak torque. A 10-80 percent charge can be achieved in just about 57 minutes thanks to DC quick charging and the tech on the Tiago EV has a little more pizzaz with cruise control, rain sensing wipers, auto climate control and connected car tech. The Tiago EV currently has an introductory price of Rs 8.49 lakh and bookings are open.
Tata Punch EV | With its first unveiling scheduled for the 2023 Auto Expo, Tata is all set to launch the electric version of the Punch by the festive season. The Tata Punch, unlike the company’s existing EVs, is based on the Sigma architecture. This is a modified variant of the ALFA platform which underpins the ICE-powered Punch and was developed with electrification in mind. This also means that the car will be lighter and more spacious, thanks to the flat floor created by the removal of the transmission tunnel. While the exact specifications are not known, the Punch is likely to share the powertrain setup with its siblings. So a similar front wheel drive electric motor with a battery capacity enough for at least 350 km should be on the cards. Other changes will also be visible in the form of tweaked bumpers, a sealed off grille and blue accents to denote its electric nature. What will be interesting to see, however, is how Tata prices the SUV but expect it to cost more than the top-end variant of the ICE-powered Punch.
Tata Altroz EV | The Altroz EV was first showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo in its pre-production form and as such has been one of the EVs that people have been expecting and not receiving for a long, long time. Now the Altroz EV is expected to debut in 2023 alongside the Punch. It will be built on the same Sigma platform as the Punch and the powertrain options should be similar to the Nexon EV’s specs. For context, the Nexon EV has two versions, Nexon EV Prime and Nexon EV Max, the names suggesting how much range you can expect. Both battery options should also translate into the Altroz EV along with the 129 hp/245 Nm electric motor that propels both Nexon variants. Design-wise, again, minimal changes save for the standard electric blue accents, closed off grille and maybe a set of new alloy wheels. We could see more and maybe better tech on the Altroz as well as interior features, but that’s something we will have to wait and watch.
Mahindra eKUV100 | The Mahindra eKUV100 has been speculated to launch for a while now and some of these dates have already passed. 2023 is a new year and with it comes new hope. This is because if the eKUV100 does launch, it could be the most affordable EV in the Indian market thanks to a Rs 8.25 lakh starting price announced at the Expo. Yes, the Tiago EV is priced at Rs 8.49 lakh but this is introductory and will go up soon. The eKUV100 was unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo with a 15.9 kWh battery pack powering a 54 hp electric motor. Claimed range stood at 150 km but all of this is subject to change when the tall hatchback actually launches. Apart from this, Mahindra also showcased five electric SUV concepts built on an entirely new electric platform but these will start making it to the market from 2024 onwards.
Maruti Suzuki YY8 | Finally Maruti Suzuki is all set to showcase its new electric SUV concept at the 2023 Auto Expo. This car will not go into production at least until 2025 but considering that it comes from the manufacturer that sells the most affordable car in the country, it shouldn’t be ignored. Of course, the YY8 concept will see a lot of changes by the time it goes into production but it will give us a slight idea of what to expect. The car will be co-developed with Toyota, so we will see a similar e-SUV from them too. Design-wise, expect something futuristic with a size that will rival that of the current Hyundai Creta. Two battery pack options are expected to be offered boasting a maximum of 500 km in range. We could speculate more about the specifications but almost everything from the expo unveiling will change, so we will wait to see what Maruti Suzuki themselves says.