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2021 in Review: From Tata to Porsche, electric is picking up the pace

While electric is definitely the future of transport, India is still just kicking off. With 2021’s launches, it seems to be a good start at least.

December 30, 2021 / 05:11 PM IST

Electric is definitely a step into the future and there is no doubt about that. With range getting better and better and the promise of a cheaper alternative to the rising fuel prices, more and more people are starting to think of EVs as a viable mode of transport. Manufacturers in India have heard these pleas, too, and while there is still a long way to go, electric vehicle sales are picking up. For now, here are all of the electric cars launched in 2021.

Tata Tigor EV

In terms of affordability, the Tata Tigor EV is probably the cheapest available in India. This one doesn’t suffer from range anxiety either with an ARAI-certified range of 306 km. The Tigor EV was launched in August, this year and has a starting price of Rs 11.99 lakh. After the success of the Nexon EV, the Tigor was the obvious next step in Tata’s play. In terms of safety as well, the car scores an NCAP rating of 4 stars.

MG ZS EV

The MG ZS EV isn’t a new launch per se. The car was introduced into the Indian market back in January 2020. Earlier this year, the EV was updated with a bigger battery pack and as a consequence, more range. The bigger 44.5 kWh battery pack is now capable of providing 419 km in range according to the iCAT cycle. The batteries supply power to a motor that is capable of churning out 142.7PS of power and 353Nm of torque allowing the ZS EV to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 8.5 seconds. Like most other EVs on this list, it also gets a host of technology such as connected car tech and premium interiors.

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BMW iX

The most recent EV to join the Indian market is the BMW iX. Launched on December 13, the first batch of this EV sold out in less than a day. All of this with an asking price of Rs 1.16 crore via the completely built-up (CBU) route. Now, globally, the iX is available in two variants – xDrive 40 and xDrive 50. India, however, gets the xDrive 40 variant which is powered by a motor that generates 326PS of power and 630Nm of torque. The SUV also gets a 76.6 kWh battery pack capable of delivering 425 km of range according to the WLTP cycle. According to BMW, a 0-100 km/h sprint time has been recorded at 6.1 seconds and while the first batch has been sold, the second batch is set to arrive in April.

Jaguar I-Pace

Launched in March 2021, the Jaguar I-Pace is available in a total of three variants starting at Rs 1.06 crore for the base S variant. The SE on the other hand gets an asking price of Rs 1.08 crore while the top-spec HSE is priced at Rs 1.12 crore. The differences between the variants here are the amount of interior tech and some other goodies. However what powers the I-Pace remains the same. It comes powered by a 90 kWh battery pack that provides energy to motors on each axle. In combination, these motors produce 400PS of power and 696Nm of torque. According to the WLTP cycle, the I-Pace can cover a range of 470 km on a single charge.

Audi e-Tron SUV

Introduced as Audi’s first electric car in India, the e-Tron was made available in a total of three variants. The base model is the e-Tron 50 which is powered by dual electric motors producing 313PS of power and 540Nm of torque. This is energised by a 71 kWh battery pack that allows for a total range of up to 379 km on a single charge. Then there is the e-Tron 55 Quattro that is also available in an additional coupe bodystyle and aptly named Sportback. Both of these are powered by larger 95 kWh battery pack that also provides for longer range of up to 484 km according to the WLTP cycle. The dual motors on this car produce 408 PS of total power and 664Nm combined.

Audi e-Tron GT and RS GT

This wasn’t all for Audi as they quickly followed up with two more launches. The e-Tron GT and e-tron RS GT were launched only in September and are two of the most powerful electrics to come out Audi’s stable so far. Unlike the e-Trons mentioned earlier, the GT and RS GT are four-door coupe sedans. The motors on both these cars are different along with a host of interior features, despite already being fairly premium. The regular e-Tron GT’s motor is capable of churning out 530PS in boost mode alongside a torque figure of 630Nm. The RS e-Tron GT, on the other hand is capable of producing 646PS of power in boost mode with 830Nm of torque. Both versions, however, get the same 93 kWh battery pack allowing for a range of up to 500 km on the regular version and a shorter 481 km on the RS.

Porsche Taycan

With prices starting at Rs 1.50 crore, Porsche also decided it was time to bring their EV to India. The Taycan is available in four variants starting with the base Standard variant going all the way up to the Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo which burns a hole about Rs 2.31 crore wide. Porsche, like Audi, falls under the Volkswagen group of manufacturers and its no surprise that both the Taycan and the e-Tron GT share their underpinnings. The Taycan, however, has a few more variants to play around with. The base spec, for example features only a rear-wheel-drive option while the rest of the lineup are available with all-wheel-drive as standard. There is an option between battery packs as well: a 79.2 kWh pack and a 93.4 kWh battery pack.

Even with all of these launches, the strut of electric hasn’t slowed. While the big names have started launching their EVs in India, more have yet to make it to our country. Tesla, too, is here and its only a matter of time when the Model 3 comes.

Auto manufacturers aren’t the only ones looking at electric vehicles either. Ride sharing company, Ola, has already launched their S1 electric scooter and is looking at 2023 for a new electric four-wheeler. Around the world, tech giants as well are working on their own EVs. Companies such as Oppo is rumoured to already be developing their own car while Apple seems to be working on self-driving tech that can be licenced to other manufacturers along with a car of their own.
Stanford Masters Journalist who writes on automobiles
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