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Tata Motors launches $10,000 electric car

Tata Motors, an India-based automaker, has launched a new small hatchback all-electric vehicle starting at just over $10,000.

The Indian auto market has been lagging behind its peers when it comes to electrification.

This is due to many factors, but not the least of which is the fact that the country has strong protectionist laws when it comes to its auto industry and it makes it hard for foreign automakers to launch new vehicles in the country without producing them there.

Tesla has attempted several times to launch in India, but the policy has prevented them to do so without building a factory in the country first.

It means that India has to primarily rely on its own auto industry to electrify its passenger vehicles and address emissions from its transportation industry.

Tata Motors, the biggest Indian automaker, has launched a few EVs and put about 45,000 of them on Indian roads.

Now the company is launching a new cheaper electric car that could greatly accelerate EV adoption in India.

Today, the automaker is launching the Tiago.ev and the big headline is that the electric car starts at just ~$10,000.

Here are all the variants of the Tata Motors Tiago.ev with a starting price of 8.49 Lakh, which is the equivalent of about $10,000 USD:

Battery PackCharging OptionVariantIntroductory Price
(in INR, All India – Ex-showroom)
19.2 kWh3.3 kW ACXE8.49 Lakh
19.2 kWh3.3 kW ACXT9.09 Lakh
24 kWh3.3 kW ACXT9.99 Lakh
24 kWh3.3 kW ACXZ+10.79 Lakh
24 kWh3.3 kW ACXZ+ Tech LUX11.29 Lakh
24 kWh7.2 kW ACXZ+11.29 Lakh
24 kWh7.2 kW ACXZ+ Tech LUX11.79 Lakh

In terms of the form factor and design, the Tiago.ev looks like your average small city car:

Now when it comes to the specs, you can’t expect too much from a $10,000 electric car. For example, it has the smallest battery pack of any all-electric car I’ve ever seen.

At 19 kWh, we have seen electric motorcycles with bigger battery packs. Earlier this month, I rode an electric jet ski with a significantly bigger pack. Range Rover’s new 50-mile on electric PHEV has double the sized battery, though Hyundai squeezed 170 miles out of a 38kWh battery.

Nevertheless, Tata Motors claims that the Tiago.ev with a 19 kWh battery pack gets 250 km (155 miles) of range, but that’s on the Modified Indian Driving Cycle (MIDC). We would expect real-world range to be shorter. Going 100 miles on a highway might be optimistic.

A version of the electric car with a bigger 24 kWh battery pack would have as much as 315 km (194 miles) of range, according to Tata Motors. That’s the same energy capacity as the original Nissan Leaf’s battery pack, which was getting only 117 km (73 miles) of range, but that was a bigger vehicle.

Suprisingly, Tata offers DC fast charging on the Tiago.ev. It doesn’t specify the max top charge rate, but it says that it can “add 110 km of range with just 30 mins of charging.”

You can’t expect too many features for a vehicle at that price, but the Tiago.ev comes with most basic features people come to expect from modern vehicles.

Deliveries are scheduled to start in January 2023, and Tata Motors is taking reservations now.

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