Please Tell Us Your City
Venkat Desirazu Venkat Desirazu Tuesday 21 January 2020

Fossil fuels in one form or another have been the backbone of the automotive industry for well over a century now. Coal, kerosene, diesel and petrol have all shaped the way we travel. Well, now the next step is here in the form of battery-powered electric vehicles.
More specifically, they power what you see in the pictures - the Tata Nexon EV. It’s the Indian automaker’s most major and ambitious effort at an electric vehicle and we have had the opportunity to drive it and now we’ll tell you if Tata Motors has put its best foot forward in the doorway to future mobility.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

The exterior design of the Tata Nexon EV is similar to that of the regular Nexon but with a few EV touches that help it stand out. Highlights of the exterior design include new swept-back headlamps with LED DRLs, blue chrome accents on the front and rear bumpers as well as the shoulder line. Also part of the package is a blacked-out single slat grille and tri-arrow inserts for the air dam.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

The Nexon in itself is a very funky looking car thanks to its angular lines and larger than life proportions. This electric version, although a bit understated for what it is, manages to integrate itself quite well into the Nexon family.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

Like the exterior, the cabin of the Nexon EV is identical to its fossil fuel powered sibling but with a host of updates that keep it in line with its electric powered nature. The cabin is a white and grey affair with these blue inserts in various places to reinforce the underlying electric nature of what you are driving. The most noticeable absence is a gear lever whose job has been taken over by a selector dial which is clearly marked but it freewheels and can be confusing to use at times.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

The Nexon EV’s ergonomics are exactly the same as the regular Nexon and that’s a very good thing because familiarity in terms of touch and feel will play a huge role in normalizing and mainstreaming EV ownership. Everything falls easily to hand but the only thing that is a bit discerning at first is that when you press the start/stop button, there is no sound of any kind and your only clue that the car is on is the lighting up of the instrument cluster.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

This top spec XZ Lux variant that we are driving gets all the usual niceties like climate control, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, cooled glove box and an infotainment system with a seven-inch floating touchscreen display. This is a comprehensive system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and over 35 connected car features like Geo fencing, remote AC control and an SOS alert. However, this is an EV and so you get some dedicated features like remote monitoring of the current charge levels, charging history, available range, nearest charging stations and more.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

The Tata Nexon EV is underpinned by Tata’s new Ziptron technology. Its electric motor produces 127bhp/245Nm of torque and is powered by a 30.2 kWh lithium ion liquid cooled battery pack. There’s a single speed gearbox powering the front wheels. Performance figures are quite good as you get a 0-100kmph time of 9.9 seconds and an ARAI certified range of 312km. The battery pack is certified for IP67 standards in terms of safety and protection.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

This being an EV, you get all the torque right from the stand still and this is particularly useful when you need to make quick overtakes. It can also get quite addictive as it takes nothing than a step on the throttle. Also included are two driving modes – the drive mode which is a regular one and the sport mode where throttle response is much sharper and the regenerative braking is much more intense.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

This car weighs 120kgs more than its standard sibling and has a ride that is on the firmer side when compared to the standard car. Also, it's quite compliant due to which most bumps and imperfections are done and dusted without too much effort. The steering weighs up nicely as you go faster and gliding from the point will reward you with a good driving experience. However, if you push the car into a corner heavily, it will under steer due to so much torque going through the front wheels all at once. In fact, the instant torque delivery is easily capable of spinning up the front wheels if you are suddenly in the mood to spring for a new set of tyres.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

The 3.3kW AC charger when plugged into a 15A plug point will take eight hours to be fully charged. However, if you plug the car into a fast charger you can go from 0 per cent to 80 per cent in just 60 minutes. Tata in its initial roll out will install fast chargers at its major dealerships across 22 cities.

Tech specs
Make Tata
Model Nexon
Fuel Electric
Variant XZ
Engine Capacity Electric
Max. Power (bhp@rpm) 127bhp
Max. torque (Nm@rpm) 245Nm
Gears One
Length mm 3994
Width mm 1811
Height mm 1607
Wheelbase mm 2498
Battery capacity 30.2 kWh
Tyre size 215/60 R16
Climate control Yes
Leatherette seats Yes
2 driving modes Yes
Reverse camera Yes
Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

The Tata Nexon EV when launched will be offered in three variants- XM, XZ and the car we have here which is the XZ Lux. You get three colour options and one only one power train specification. It will be initially retailed in 22 major cities across India whereas an extensive sale across the country will commence at a later date. You can find all the details of the Tata Nexon EV on our website by clicking on this link.
Tata's first attempt at a full-fledged EV seems promising. There are loads of features, it's quite funky looking and the instant availability of torque right from the get go is a boon on the highway when you need to make quick overtakes. However, considering the present state of the charging grid in India, this is for someone who wants to be in with the times while using this EV as a second car.

Tata Nexon EV First Drive Review

Tata is expected to price the Nexon EV in the range of Rs 15 lakhs to Rs 17 lakhs. While this will put it well out of the range of cars the regular Nexon competes with, it will be a unique offering in the segment dominated by cars like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Nissan Kicks as well cars like the MG Hector, Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Harrier.

Photos By Kaustubh Gandhi.


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