With a revival in its financials, the company has started work on high voltage electric vehicle projects
As Tata Motors, the country’s fourth biggest car maker, begins to witness fruits of turnaround initiatives started last year, some of its ambitious projects may be taken out of the freezer.
One such project is TAMO, a startup under which the Mumbai-based company showcased a fully electric version of the Racemo called Racemo+ at the Auto Expo earlier this year.
In the middle of last year, Tata Motors had put brakes on all activities under the TAMO division as it wanted to focus on turning around the loss making stand-alone operations.
The stand-alone entity recorded profits for the first time in five quarters as stringent cost control measures, coupled with a surge in demand for heavy trucks and equally robust desire of its new generation hatchback and SUVs boosted margins. While car sales rose 22 per cent, its truck and bus sales also jumped by 23 per cent in the last financial year.
Putting TAMO on the back burner was one of the early steps taken by the company after its parent entity Tata Sons appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its Chairman. Chandrasekaran wanted the company to first implement cost control measures. However, with a revival in its financials, the company has started work on high voltage electric vehicle projects.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, Guenter Butschek, managing director, Tata Motors, had said: “TAMO is a completely different part of the overall transformation game. We launched it for very particular reason and good consideration in Geneva because we wanted to send a statement that we have a product that is absolutely unique with full confidence that this product meets all global standards. And Geneva launch met its purpose. We took it one step further when we brought it to India because that it is a fully electric version.”
The Racemo, a compact 2-seater sports car powered by turbocharged 1.2 litre engine that belts out 190ps of peak power, was put on the back burner. The car was first showcased at the Geneva Motor Show in March last year. A fully electric version of the car, however, made its way to the India Auto Expo in February.
“Racemo is also the first ‘connected car’ using the platform of Microsoft which will be taken main stream on our products later. So although we put Racemo in the fridge for the turnaround reasons because we needed to reprioritize our capital expenditures, TAMO is as alive as it was a year ago and it is perfectly serving the purpose of the founding idea”, added Butschek.
The Racemo+ offers a configurable driving experience and range through the 150kW electric motor operating at peak voltage of 400V that delivers a drive range of 350kms on a full charge. The car comes with fast and slow charging options.
According to Butschek, Racemo+ provides an early sign of the variety of the projects Tata Motors is working on for the future. These will be vehicles whose power will be more than twice as the current generation electric vehicles produced by the company.“The powertrain solution applied on the Racemo+ gives a hint of our approach for future electric vehicles moving from the currently applied low voltage 48-72 volts as it is on the Tiago EV, Tigor EV, Iris and Magic. But the future is going to be high voltage," he had said.