In India, electric cars have been too costly for many. But when Tata Motors launched its Tiago EV (electric vehicle) earlier this week, it lowered that hurdle and posed a challenge to rival carmakers to line up matching offers. With the Tiago EV’s starting price of Rs 8.49 lakh, the price gap between a conventional internal combustion engine car and its electric version in India has narrowed enough to coax all those who had put their electric car plan on the back burner to go for it.

Tata Motors is the leader in the Indian electric PV segment with its Nexon, Tigor and Tiago. It will see competition from Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hyundai and Kia, and Chinese major BYD, which are lining up new launches. Experts say the Tatas may find it tough to maintain this lead.

“We are opening EV outlets in 80 cities in India to make EVs more accessible,” said Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Electric Mobility. “In the last five months of this financial year, the industry has sold about 20,000 EVs. Expect industry to cross 55,000-60,000 by the end of FY23. We cover 88% of this market so far and we aspire to end FY23 with the 50,000 sales mark.”

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