Tata Motors’ Electric ACE Vehicle Catches Fire

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Bluwheelz was operating the vehicle when it caught fire, marking the first reported incident for the over 5,000 e-ACEs sold, according to Tata Motors.

On Tuesday, a notable incident occurred involving an ACE electric vehicle from Tata Motors, operated by Bluwheelz, an emerging entity in India’s electric logistics industry, which unexpectedly caught fire. Bluwheelz’s CEO, Chanpreet Singh Sethi, revealed that Tata Motors is actively investigating the incident and anticipates a comprehensive report by the following week as reported by Autocar Professional.

A spokesperson from Tata Motors said that a detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of this isolated incident. They reassured the public about their commitment to vehicle safety and user protection, noting that this was the first such incident reported with their ACE EVs. Over the past two years, Tata Motors has successfully sold more than 5,000 ACE EVs, which have collectively covered over 16 million kilometers across India without similar incidents.

The Ace EV, an electric variant of Tata Motors’ widely recognized small commercial vehicle launched in May 2022, is equipped with a certified range of 154 kilometers and features the company’s innovative EVOGEN powertrain. Initially, Tata Motors received approximately 39,000 orders for this model from various businesses, including e-commerce, with deliveries starting in January 2023 to major companies such as Amazon, Amplus EV, Delhivery, DHL, FedEx, Flipkart, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, MoEVing, Safexpress, and Trent Limited. Bluwheelz is one of the latest additions to its impressive roster of clients.

Bluwheelz specializes in providing fleet-as-a-service solutions, focusing primarily on electric vehicles. Its portfolio of clients includes leading firms such as Big Basket, Delhivery, Porter, Zomato, and Compass, and it has initiated pilot projects with companies like Britannia, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Swiggy, Cremica, HT, ITC, and others. Established in January 2023, Bluwheelz has rapidly expanded its operations to more than 17 cities, managing a fleet of 1,100 electric vehicles and servicing over 40 clients. This growth trajectory was bolstered by securing $1 million in bridge funding from a consortium of investors, including Venture Catalysts.

In response to the upcoming expiration of the FAME II government subsidy scheme in March 2024, Tata Motors has strategically pivoted to emphasize generating demand through a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), rather than relying solely on government incentives. The company recently introduced a new 1-tonne variant of the ACE electric SCV, which, although 17% more expensive than its FAME-subsidised predecessor, offers a 30% improvement in TCO. Girish Wagh, Executive Director at Tata Motors, during a recent conference call said that they were preparing for this post-FAME environment and have launched an exciting range of products. Tata Motors has the distinction of being the first to receive India’s PLI certificate for electric four-wheeler goods vehicles, including those in the N1 category like the Ace EV models, and has commenced exports of the ACE EV to Nepal.

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