Market leader Tata Motors is surveying setting up new standalone Electrical Vehicle showrooms, which could become a first in the car industry. However, since Tata Motors has a limited number of EV offerings at present, containing just two models, the company does not see an urgent need for a separate retail network.
For the traditional petrol and diesel models, Tata Motors is looking at switching to selling cars online soon. The electric car buying and retailing business is different. Since EV perception in India is very low, buyers are not fully familiar with the workings of an electric vehicle. Most buyers will need tutoring on critical aspects of the EV, such as driving behavior, charging of the vehicle, and its maintenance and upkeep.
“After a certain stage, it might make sense (to have EV showrooms) when you have a range of products and when the demand for EVs has reached a level where it can independently support a profitable channel process and where showrooms can exist on their own,” said, Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.
While Tata Motors set up a separate Electrical Vehicle company which even received external funding that would help accelerate its product development and production plans, many of the company’s rivals are yet to break ground on the same despite the enormous consumer interest in EVs. Tata Motors has committed to investing ₹15,000 crores in the EV space.
Tata Motors has a market share of more than 85 percent in the electric passenger four wheeler segment, followed by MG Motor and Hyundai. The Nexon EV is the largest selling electric car in India and has an average waiting period of 4 to 6 months.