Tata Motors launches $13k electric car in India, proving cheap EVs are possible

  • Tata Motors, the brains behind the previous cheapest car in the world, the Tata Nano, have released its budget small electric SUV.
  • Called the Punch EV, its price is the only thing bargain basement about it, with a wide array of standard equipment and some pretty impressive claimed range figures.
  • Prices start at just over 10.99 lakh rupees, equivalent to around $13,000 or £10,400.

Tata Motors’ answer to EVs such as Citroen’s e-C3

The Punch model shape has already been on sale in the country for several years in combustion-engined format, but this update marks Tata Motor’s ongoing switch to electric mobility, being the fourth EV from Tata Motors to be released in India. Despite its low asking price, standard equipment includes a ten-inch touchscreen, digital dials, a 360-degree camera, and alloy wheels. Two powertrain configurations will be offered, with the entry level car packing a 25 kWh battery with a rated range of 315km, while a long range edition with a 35kWh battery will offer a claimed distance of 421km between chargers. Despite its small size, ideal for India’s cities, both configurations are still capable of over 100km/h, making them more than adequate for longer journeys too.

There’s nothing to suggest that the Tata Punch EV will be heading to markets elsewhere, which is a shame, as regions such as Europe are ripe for small, low-cost electric vehicles. However, that doesn’t mean the Punch EV won’t face stiff competition, primarily from India’s cheapest electric car, the MG Comet, sold exclusively in the country. However, global models such as the upcoming Citroen e-C3, one of the budget EVs we’re looking forward to this year, is set to go on sale in the country at a very similar price of 11.61 lakh rupees. Meanwhile, Chinese EV manufacturers such as Wuling are able to produce an EV with similar levels of range and performance for the equivalent of just £6,600.

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