Delhi Govt. Suspends Tata Nexon EV Subsidy
The move follows multiple complaints of the lack of real-world range delivered against claimed by the subcompact electric SUV
Delhi EV policy had offered an incentive of up to Rs 1.5 lakh to first 1000 buyers of EVs.
Tata Nexon EV has a claimed range of 312km and was previously eligible for savings under this policy.
Customers complained that despite following advice from Tata dealers Nexon EV failed to deliver over 200km of range.
Delhi’s Transport Minister cited multiple such complaints of “sub-standard” range from Nexon EV.
Until the court makes a final decision on the matter, Nexon EV is not eligible for benefits under the Delhi EV policy.
The Tata Nexon EV is currently the most affordable EV in India to claim a range of more than 300km on a single charge. However, there have been multiple complaints about the car being incapable of delivering that range and so the Delhi government has now delisted the Nexon EV from its subsidy scheme.
Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot stated "The Delhi government has decided to suspend subsidy on a EV car model, pending final report of a Committee, due to complaints by multiple users of sub-standard range performance. We are committed to support EVs, but not at the cost of trust and confidence of citizens in claims by manufacturers.”
In order to push for adoption of EVs in Delhi, the government’s subsidy scheme offered an incentive of Rs 10,000 per kWh of battery capacity of up to Rs 1.5 lakh (for the first 1000 cars to be registered in Delhi since the policy was issued in August 2020). The policy included additional incentives in the form of waiver of road tax and registration fee too. Until now, the Nexon EV was listed as an eligible vehicle for the benefits offered within this policy. It uses a 30.2kWh lithium ion battery which does add up to a considerable discount from the EV policy. The Nexon EV is currently priced between Rs 13.99 lakh and Rs 16.39 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.
This decision was followed by a recent case wherein a Nexon EV customer registered a consumer complaint alleging that the car failed to deliver more than 200km despite following various advice from the dealer. While Tata responded that the Nexon EV’s 312km claimed range was advertised as per the ARAI test, the order found it to be insufficient argument against the proof provided in the complaint. It is well-understood that ARAI figures are achieved under test conditions which differ greatly from real-world driving scenarios where numerous factors can affect the range of the vehicle.
The carmaker’s defense also stated that it was within the parameters of the performance and efficiency eligibility criteria under the FAME India Phase-II scheme which specifies a minimum range of 140km. As per this criteria, the Nexon EV is also compliant with the requirements of the Delhi EV Policy. While the order recognises the data presented by the manufacturer, it raises the issue of a possibly faulty hardware, the fact that there are other Nexon EV owners with similar grievances and that Tata Motors did not take steps to independently verify the complaint.
We recently tested the performance and range of the Nexon EV and found that the electric SUV was able to deliver a range of over 280km in city use as compared to the 211km range on the highway. The stop-go nature of city driving allows the battery-regen system to extend the range between charging points. Still, the average range in mixed driving conditions would fall considerably short of the claimed figures. Even with testing petrol and diesel powered cars, it was rare if ever that a model could deliver close to the claimed ARAI certified mileage figures in real world conditions.
The final decision on the matter will be made by a committee that will take into account the claims of the complainant as well as Tata Motors. Until then, the Nexon EV is not eligible for the benefits of the Delhi EV policy. The order stated the need to ‘avoid/prevent any further adverse fallout on the EV policy itself and its salient and fundamental objectives.’
The case of the Nexon EV should be a warning to other carmakers who are already or are about to launch EVs in India. It could act as a precedent for consumers taking brands to court over exaggerated range figures that were achieved in a controlled, testing environment. Maybe it’s time carmakers offered their own efficiency figures that are closer to reality instead of stating only the unrealistic figures that were achieved under testing conditions. Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
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