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Tata Motors Developing Range Of Small Electric Commercial Vehicles

The auto major, which has already supplied over 600 electric buses in over nine cities in the country, is in talks with a few e-commerce players and captive customers for the supply of the electric products.

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Tata Motors is working to develop a range of small electric commercial vehicles to cater to last-mile distribution of goods, a senior company official said on Thursday.

The auto major, which has already supplied over 600 electric buses in over nine cities in the country, is in talks with a few e-commerce players and captive customers for the supply of the electric products.

"Going forward, the segment which is going to see electrification is the last-mile distribution. It would be serviced by small commercial vehicles.

"Here we are in touch with few e-commerce players and some captive customers and they are quite open to look at holistic solutions which can move their last-mile distribution to zero emissions," Tata Motors Executive Director Girish Wagh told reporters during an online press conference.

The auto major on Thursday unveiled 21 new commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and small commercial vehicles.

Wagh noted that the company has been in talks with partners to develop the electric product range for the last-mile deliveries.

"We have been talking to them and while in the background developing vehicles for this purpose. We are also working on what kind of charging infrastructure should be put in place, what kind of financing needs to be there and what kind of support be provided to ensure that the solution becomes holistic and sustainable.

"We are therefore preparing ourselves for the last-mile distribution electrification," Wagh said.

He added that in the larger vehicles, migration towards electrification will be through CNG and other alternate fuels.

Wagh said the auto major has over 20 million kms experience, generated through sale of electric buses over the years.

"It is a great experience and we have started utilising this into some of our new products. Even in the electric segment we are working in a modular manner, so aggregates, software, and platforms are all done separately," he added.

Asked about the semiconductor shortage issue, Wagh noted that the company has deployed various strategies to reduce the impact.

"Semiconductor shortage is something which has crippled the entire global automotive industry and even we are not spared from that.

"We are continuously watching the situation and we have deployed strategies in terms of reducing the use of semiconductors wherever possible without compromising on the functionality," he stated.

The company is also going for alternate sources and choosing variants which need lesser number of semiconductors, Wagh said.

Besides, the company has diversified its sourcing which has enabled it to face this crisis to some extent, he added.

"We have been impacted since third quarter of last year and there are few segments where we have not been able to produce to the extent we wanted to but we are keeping a watch on the entire situation and also working at various mitigation strategies to ensure that we are least impacted because this crisis is here to stay for few more quarters," Wagh stated.

On the outlook for the rest of the fiscal, he said: "Second half of this fisal should be much better than the first half. We are quite optimistic about the second half of this year."

Wagh noted that the company's optimism reflected in the unveiling of 21 new commercial vehicles, including new buses.

"Commercial passenger vehicle segment has been hit the most in the pandemic with people shying away from shared mobility but what we see now with second wave abating there is good increase in mobility.

"Gradually, the people are moving towards earlier ways of transportation and with this we see that demand for buses is coming back," he emphasised.

He further said: "We believe the worst time is over for buses and now there are good times ahead of us."

The company has unveiled seven products in the medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) segment and five products in the intermediate and light commercial segment (4-18 tonne GVW) with CNG powertrains.

Besides, the auto major has unveiled four new LCVs (Light Commercial Vehicles) to improve last-mile delivery efficiency and reduce operational cost.

These include Ace with a petrol engine and Winger Cargo for the growing needs of e-commerce distribution.

Tata Motors also unveiled five passenger commercial vehicles, including buses for intra-city transportation.

"The engines of infrastructure development, consumer consumption and e-commerce powering the Indian economy require continued transportation support to run seamlessly.

"Being the leader in the commercial vehicles, we continue to deliver superior value propositions to customers by introducing smarter, future-ready products and services," Wagh said.

The 21 new vehicles that the company unveiled are designed to fulfil the evolving needs of the country's economy and its growing demand for efficient transportation, he added.

"Every aspect of these vehicles has been purposefully augmented to cater to both varied duty cycles as well as special applications," Wagh noted.

(PTI)


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