NEW DELHI, India: As it seeks to attract more buyers, Tata Motors, the country's only electric vehicle maker, has introduced India's lowest priced electric car this week, costing some $10,000.
Assisted by government subsidies and high import tariffs, Tata leads India's EV market.
Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata's domestic rival, plans to launch its first electric sport-utility vehicle in January, and is also raising up to $500 million from investors for its EV unit.
Tata's Tiago EV, an electric version of its popular Tiago hatchback, will cost from $10,370, which is much less expensive than the next most affordable EV in the country, the electric version of Tata's Tigor compact sedan starting at around $14,940.
"We are not chasing to be the lowest cost," said Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and its EV subsidiary, as quoted by Reuters.
The aim was to pack in connected car features and other advanced technologies, while keeping prices accessible, he added, affirming that the car's "disruptive" pricing would open new opportunities and markets for Tata in smaller towns and cities.
The Indian car market is small compared to the country's population, with electric models making up just 1 percent of total car sales of some 3 million vehicles a year. However, the government wants this to increase to 30 percent by 2030.
"There is always a challenge of how we strike the right price," Chandra said, adding that the current sticker price was only for the first 10,000 buyers.