Gadgets 360: Tata Passenger Electric Mobility has announced a new brand identity for its electric vehicles (EV) business. What was the need for this for the company?
Vivek Srivastava: This is done with a vision for the future because our customers are telling us that they want a different experience. Our community is very important to us. They want a positive impact on the environment and certainly expect high levels of technology in both products and customer experience. That’s why we thought we should give them this new experience with Tata.ev. The new brand name will be found across various products, services and touchpoints. One element of this is changing Nexon to Nexon.ev.
However, you will see major design changes in the interior and exterior of this car. It aims to provide a more premium and gadgetized experience. The change in brand design and identity signals to us that we are ready to give our customers a premium and advanced experience.
Gadgets 360: As the company’s vehicle portfolio grows, are you planning to open a new showroom to sell only electric vehicles under the Tata.ev brand?
Vivek Srivastava: There is no such plan yet. However, we recognize that this is needed as our portfolio grows. There is definitely a need for big showrooms or independent stores for this. We haven’t confirmed it yet but it’s a possibility.
Gadgets 360: How are EV buyers different from buyers of vehicles with petrol and diesel engines?
Vivek Srivastava: This is very clear. EV customers are very different from other car buyers. His thinking is like that of a tech and gadget fan. First, they expect high levels of customer experience and then they expect quick responses from the company. Their expectation is that the company will listen to their suggestions and take feedback to improve the product and service. This should be a situation in which the company has to have constant communication with the customer.
In the market of vehicles with petrol and diesel engines, it is believed that if the performance of the vehicle on the road is better then the customer contacts the company less. However, in the EV industry, customers want to talk with the company on both good and bad points. We have taken this very seriously and are constantly talking to our buyer community. We also have online programs and offline events for the community. The existing community is a big part of our future growth.
Gadgets 360: How important is technology to increase EV sales?
Vivek Srivastava: You know that Nexon EV is very gadgetized and digitized. We have given a lot of electronics in this car. It has a large touchscreen with built-in app support, a modern music system and tech-inspired exterior lighting. In this, the welcome message, goodbye message and external charging indicator are all inspired by the tech industry. We have added all these features on the demand of EV customers. We believe that the EV industry will grow only when customers get a digitized experience.
Gadgets 360: What are the challenges to the growth of the electric vehicles market in the country? What are you doing to deal with this and what kind of help do you need from the government?
Vivek Srivastava: There is definitely a big challenge regarding charging infrastructure. Highway charging will have to be increased. Customers need reliable charging infrastructure. There should be charging points along with petrol pumps. Petroleum companies have decided to enter this business and are installing one or two charging points at petrol pumps. However, the speed of setting up charging stations is slow and hence it is a big challenge.
The second challenge is related to parking for people in cities. In such a situation, residential charging is also of no use. However, we are designing community charging solutions that can provide eight to 10 charging points at one location. Installing a charger for each vehicle would be wasteful since most people will only need to charge their vehicles twice a week. In such a situation, community chargers will be better for the customers and they can be used maximum. If our plan for community chargers is successful, there can be a lot of growth in the EV industry.
Gadgets 360: What have been the company’s EV sales and what are the company’s targets for this financial year?
Vivek Srivastava: Recently we had achieved the milestone of sales of one lakh EVs. This figure would have increased to 3,000-4,000 units by now. Nexon’s share in this sales is 53 percent. Our target is to include at least 10 cars in our portfolio by 2025. We have targeted to increase the share of EV sales in our total portfolio to 25 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030.