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The Tata EVision Sedan Concept may have drawn eyeballs at the 2018 Geneva motor show but the concept was about much more than just its sleek design. On one hand, the EVision previewed the concept for electric vehicles' interiors to come from Tata Motors in the future. On the other hand, the concept also highlighted the flexibility of Tata’s OMEGA architecture (derived from Land Rover’s D8 platform) and how it can be adapted for electric vehicle applications, solely with changes to the underbody.
Additionally, speaking to Autocar India, Tata Motors’ CEO and MD Guenter Butschek described the EVision as a ‘proof of concept’ for other considerations – one of which is the battery tech. The EVision features a cylindrical-cell lithium-ion battery pack, which is technology used by electric carmaker Tesla. While Tata hasn’t revealed full details of the battery pack, it is said to be space-efficient and powerful enough to offer a range of more than 300km on a full charge.
"The ALFA and OMEGA architecture are both battery-electric protected. The new battery packs are cylindrical, liquid-cooled and allow for a larger range from a smaller space. We can develop an attractive battery-powered electric for the Indian market with a range of over 300km," Butschek told Autocar India. "If the battery development goes as we've seen, at this point of time, it would be possible for us to even offer a range of 400km," he added.
Tata Motors believes the higher range will be sufficient for Indian driving conditions and help eliminate range anxiety. In fact, a 300-400km would put a future Tata EV with the battery pack at par with the Nissan Leaf (380km under the New European Driving Cycle) and the Hyundai Kona Electric (300km).
Nissan is keen to introduce the Leaf in India while the Kona electric has been confirmed for launch in 2019 as a locally assembled model. Tata Motors has not brought to market any of its electric vehicles, as yet, but has commenced delivery of electric Tigor sedans to the Energy Efficiency Services Limited as it won a tender to supply 10,000 EVs to the government-owned entity. Tata’s Tigor EV and Tiago EV made their first public appearance at Auto Expo 2018.
While it is debatable whether electric vehicles are the best step forward given India’s thermal energy-heavy power generation infrastructure, the EVision does suggest that e-mobility will be big at Tata Motors’ in the time to come.
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