The Nexon EV is one of the jewels in the crown of Tata Motors. It was launched in January 2020, and since then, it has gone on to become the country’s best-selling electric vehicle. When the automaker was working on acquiring the certifications for the Nexon EV, one of the claims was that it could achieve 312 kilometers of range out of a single charge. Of course, this figure was actually not claimed by Tata Motors. Instead, it was the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) which verified and certified the Nexon EV with a maximum range of 312 kilometers. Many of us know that there’s usually a big gap between these “claimed” figures and the real-world ones.
On the other hand, and rather, unfortunately, some buyers still believe the quoted figures. Again, that is quite valid as automakers keep promoting the living daylights out of an EV’s theoretical maximum range. Just recently, a couple of Nexon EV owners had noticed that their cars were not achieving the claimed maximum range quoted by Tata Motors. The owners had raised a complaint that their Nexon EVs were only able to achieve 200 kilometers on a single charge. Now, the Nexon EV fell under the government’s electric vehicles’ scheme, which allowed Tata Motors to claim for a subsidy. This is obviously a good thing as this is then passed onto the customer, thus making the car cheaper.
However, since these subsidies are based upon what the EVs could achieve, the counter-claims from owners rocked the boat, so to speak. In Delhi, EV buyers are exempt from paying registration fees and road tax, which is great. But since neither of the complainants could achieve the car’s claimed range, they raised a complaint and things quickly moved further up the chain. Soon, the Delhi government decided it will delist the Tata Nexon EV from its purchase incentives under the electric vehicles’ scheme. This mean that Tata Motors could not have passed on any cost savings to future Nexon EV customers. Therefore, the automaker decided to approach the Delhi High Court for a resolution.
Fast-forward about a week, and Tata Motors can now heave a sigh of relief. The Delhi High Court went over the matter and came to the conclusion that the maximum range claimed by Tata Motors were taken directly from what ARAI had found out in its testing of the Nexon EV. Also, since vehicles perform differently under ideal testing scenarios than they do in the real world, Tata Motors technically had no direct hand in the matter. Since in the real world, there are various factors that will affect the range of an EV such as air-conditioning, vehicle load, driving parameters, road and traffic conditions, etc.
Tata Motors released an official statement after the High Court ruling. It said,
“The Honourable Delhi High Court has issued notice on our writ and granted interim relief by directing a stay against the delisting of Nexon EV from Delhi Government’s eligible list of vehicles. The Honourable High Court has granted time to the Delhi Government to file counter affidavit in the matter.”
Since this is just a stay order for now, we can expect more developments on this front in the near future. However, we must note that there is a distinct difference between what vehicles (electric or otherwise) can achieve in the real world. This is considering the fact that manufacturers will continue to boast about their cars’ maximum range/top speed/acceleration or whatever it might be. At the end of the day, common sense must prevail and we must understand that these figures can vary wildly. Having said that, read the fine prints on brochures or manufacturer’s websites. That should help matters, too.