After buses and passenger cars, automobile giant Tata Motors might soon roll-out an electric variant of its small commercial vehicle.
In a conversation with IANS, Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit of Tata Motors said the company has participated in ‘FAME Phase I’ scheme for electrification of buses.
Centre had introduced the ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India’ (FAME India) scheme to promote the manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
“We have supplied more than 200 buses and cumulatively they have now covered more than seven and a half million kilometres, which has given us a very good experience.
“We are also keeping track of other segments to see what the customers are looking for, where it makes economic sense and therefore we are engaging with them, especially in the E-commerce sector to understand their needs,” Wagh said.
According to Wagh, the economic attractiveness of electric vehicles has been on the rise with respect to the ICE engine due to falling battery prices and rising cost of ICE engine vehicles with respect to increase in regulations.
“We are exploring quite a few segments and actually after buses, small commercial vehicles do appear to have more chance of being electrified. Both from the perspective of the requirements of the customers and also being that economical sense,” Wagh said.
Besides, he cited that the CV segment is getting the added push from an economic rebound which started towards the end of Q2FY21 and the Centre’s push for infrastructure creation.
“I think the infrastructure push by the government has a very positive impact on the commercial vehicle industry. Secondly, the E-commerce sector has been doing pretty well, the rural economy is doing well, and gradually I see that urban consumption has also picked up as a result of all this.
“More than interest rate, the actual availability of credit has improved. This has also helped the industry.”
On the rising ownership cost as well as fuel prices, he pointed out that so far the ‘actual demand’ has till now withstood this stress and the growth is expected to be maintained.
“We do have some headwinds. The pandemic is still not over, the commodity prices have risen, so off-late we have witnessed these headwinds.
“But as of now, the tailwinds in terms of overall economic recovery, seems to be picking up us ahead in the commercial vehicle industry,” Wagh said.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)