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Tata Debunks Rumours Of Tesla Tie-up

Published On Mar 05, 2021 02:56 PM By Sonny

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The Indian carmaker has confirmed it does not see the need for an outside partnership at this time

  • Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran says there is no dialogue with Tesla.

  • Rumours of Tata-Tesla partnership had surfaced soon after the American carmaker registered its Indian subsidiary in January 2021.

  • Tata currently offers the most affordable long-range EV in India, the Nexon EV, with a claimed range of over 300km. 

  • Tesla is expected to enter India with CBU imported units of the Model 3 sedan in 2021.

At the start of 2021, EV groups were abuzz with news of Tesla taking its first steps into the Indian automotive market. Since the American carmaker registered its Indian subsidiary in January, there has been speculation over its course of action here. One such rumour involving a potential partnership between the Tata Group and Tesla has now been debunked by Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran.

"There is no dialogue with Tesla. With us, there is nothing," Chandrasekaran told mediapersons as he discussed the plans of Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in the EV space. Earlier this year, Jaguar had announced its decision to manufacture all-electric models by 2025 with all JLR models to be electric-only by 2030. In fact, Jaguar’s debut EV, the i-Pace electric SUV, is set to finally launch in India on March 23.

Tata Nexon EV: Real World Performance And Efficiency Numbers

Tata itself has been pushing for affordable electric mobility with the Nexon EV, which promises a range of 312km and starts from just Rs 13.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). It is the only subcompact electric SUV in India while the likes of Hyundai and MG offer larger, more premium compact electric SUVs priced north of Rs 20 lakh. The Nexon EV’s pricing has made it quite popular but there are still some concerns regarding real-world range. Currently, the electric SUV is dealing with a customer case in Delhi which has led to the local government suspending its eligibility for the Delhi EV Policy that offered incentives by way of discounts and fee waivers.

Tesla In Talks With State Governments For Investment Plans Ahead Of India Debut

With its more premium offerings, Tesla won’t be competing in the same circles as mass-appeal brands such as Tata. It’s first product in India will likely be the Model 3 sedan followed by the Model Y crossover SUV, both of which could offer a certified range of around 500km. While localised production is on the cards, the initial batch will likely be CBU imports, making them considerably more expensive.

Other mass-market brands such as Hyundai and Mahindra are also expected to introduce affordable EV models in India soon, likely in the same space as the Nexon EV. Tata already showcased an electric version of the Altroz premium hatchback at Auto Expo 2020. It could be the next model in the brand’s EV lineup with a similar range, of around 300km.

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