Human life has evolved to depend on cables and batteries but we never knew it would come so far and may involve our escape from reality into this. Electric vehicles have taken over the Indian market all of a sudden and every automobile manufacturer is hopping on the trend. Let me take you back to 2019 when it started, the Government of India announced stricter emissions norms for the automotive sector due to a fall in the air quality index all over the country and hopping on to the EV wave that other countries are riding, also the pressure of shifting to alternative fuel resources. These norms made some manufacturers stop the production of their diesel engines and gave them a chance to electrify their products. But this is not the start for EVs in the Indian Market. it was way before that EVs entered the Indian market. It was in June 2001 when Mahindra Electric pulled off the cloth from India’s first zero polluting Electric Vehicle for city mobility, The Reva. In 2004, the car was available to the public. It was a simple, little car (if you could call it a car) that was nowhere close to practicality compared to it’s fossil fuel propelled alternative. But today the tables have turned, and EVs and practicality only go hand in hand now. The Nexon EV has had a major role in that, how you ask? Lets start from the beginning.
Before talking about Nexon EV lets brush up with a little history of Nexon in general. The compact SUV was launched in 2017 and was warmly welcomed by Indian consumers, initially it was offered in 2 engine options; 1.2L 3-cylinder petrol and 1.5L 4-cylinder diesel. The Nexon became the top-selling car in its segment as the safety marketing technique drew a lot of consumer attention, and the constant updates to the car given by Tata never made the Nexon feel outdated. Jumping to 2020 Tata gave an evolutionary facelift to the Nexon. With the facelift, there was an addition to the Nexon line, the Nexon EV. As soon as this hit the market it made every Indian curious about the product, not only this, it popped the question, does this EV work or is it just another Electric vehicle that will eat the money people are trying to save?
When The Nexon EV arrived at the party it wasn’t alone, there were already players in the market like Hyundai, with their International product the Kona, Mahindra with their e2O, and MG with their ZS EV, but the gap between these cars was so wide that none of them made sense to the Indian buyer. Some electrics were a good fit like the electric Verito and the Tigor EV but they were only accessible to the commercial markets. Between all these, Tata placed the Nexon EV and somehow it all made sense. The way it was positioned, the confidence that Tata had already gained in the Nexon as a product made a lot of difference to the buyers and the result was astonishing as well, the car was the jack of all trades. It not only did good for Tata but helped them enjoy a monopoly in the segment. But all cookies don’t crumble, nor did the Nexon. It was not a perfectly finished product, when it came out there were issues like the charge of the battery suddenly dropping in a matter of seconds. The fast charger used to get stuck and the owner had to access a release line below the front wheel arch to release the charger. The car used to shift from D to N while running as a fail-safe measure. The Major issue that remained was the range, the range was not delivered as promised by Tata.
We can sit and have a chat about the errors the car had but there is no point in that because somewhere deep down we all knew that the car isn’t a perfect finished product and that we all expected some errors, but the bigger picture is that Tata did help most of the consumers and rectified the problem. Irrespective of everything Tata gave constant updates to the Nexon EV and with every update car just got better and better. And the way Tata backed their customer made people gain trust in the product.
The most thoughtful thing about The Nexon EV is how Tata took an old Indica platform made a few tweaks here and there added a battery and motor and put it out for sale. I mean, this is thoughtful as we have some good car manufacturers in the country with better resources but still, they aren’t able to figure it out. When I talk about the present the Nexon EV has now become a brand of itself and it has outgrown the Nexon badge, today the Nexon EV is a perfectly finished product and has gained people’s trust in Electric vehicles. Tata has gained so much confidence that it now has a premium product under the Nexon EV badge which is the Nexon EV max with more power and more range. But the throne is soon going to be challenged as Mahindra is looking very suspicious with their EV lined up. But to me, the Nexon EV will always be going to be a game changer and I do look forward to a revolutionary facelift from Tata.