Tata Motors CFO: Shift from Early EV Adopters To Developing Market

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Tata Motors Group CFO PB Balaji stated that the phase where the early majority enters with enthusiasm is likely coming to an end.

Tata Motors Ltd anticipates a decline in the number of early adopters of electric passenger vehicles and plans to concentrate on expanding the electric vehicle market in India this financial year to maintain growth momentum. Although the automaker saw a 48 per cent year-on-year increase in electric car sales, reaching 73,800 units, it fell short of its target of selling 100,000 electric cars. Group CFO PB Balaji noted in a post-earnings call that the phase of enthusiastic early majority buyers is likely ending.

Balaji emphasized that the next wave of customers will need more assurance regarding charging infrastructure, total cost of ownership, residual value, and the variety of models and use cases available. Consequently, Tata Motors’ focus this year will be on developing the market to enhance electric vehicle penetration.

Currently, electric vehicles make up about 2.3 per cent of India’s passenger vehicle segment. For Tata Motors, electric vehicles now constitute 13 per cent of their passenger vehicle powertrain mix, an increase from 9 per cent in FY23. Following the launch of the Punch EV in January, the company aims to sustain electric vehicle sales momentum with the upcoming launch of the Curvv EV this year.

Tata Motors is collaborating with charge point operators and oil-marketing companies to establish highway and community charging infrastructure. They plan to set up nearly 22,000 chargers and work with solar rooftop companies to make electric vehicles more cost-effective. These detailed efforts are expected to boost electric vehicle penetration significantly.

Management believes that the barriers to electric vehicle adoption have decreased due to new model launches and improved charging infrastructure. They expect these barriers to be reduced further with numerous launches planned by OEMs this financial year.

Tata Passenger Electric Mobility MD Shailesh Chandra expressed optimism about the segment’s growth, citing reduced adoption barriers and new model launches from Tata Motors and other automakers. He highlighted the increasing support for electric vehicles but cautioned against comparing India’s market with that of the US or other countries due to different influencing factors.

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