Customers told ET that they were on average getting a range of 220-250 kilometres per charge from their electric Nexon, which is about 70-80% of the advertised range of 312 kilometres as certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
While this is in line with what conventional vehicles also get against their ARAI-certified mileage, it becomes a concern on electric cars where the lack of sufficient public charging infrastructure causes range anxiety.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed the state transport department’s decision to cancel a Rs 1.5-lakh subsidy which is extended to Nexon EV buyers as part of the Delhi government’s electric vehicle policy.
The Delhi government had decided to withdraw the purchase incentive after it received a consumer complaint of the car never getting more than 200 kilometres of range. A similar problem was raised in a viral social media video by a Delhi-based doctor, which the transport department cited in its order. If strict action were not taken after receiving such complaints, consumers may be discouraged to buy EVs, the order read.
ET reached out to Manoj Sharma, the doctor who made the social media video. He said even after multiple software updates and servicing, he is getting a range of about 160 kilometres. He arrived at the number by extrapolating the range he received in small drives.
Another Nashik-based customer said he was receiving about 150-160 kilometres of range, which improved to 200 after a software update. He has since sold his car.
Experts, customers and
said range could be affected by various factors like driving style, air conditioner usage, and traffic and road conditions. Moreover, the car consumes a lot of battery while starting up, which could significantly affect its range if driven in small trips.
ET has learned through two sources that Tata Motors’ test drivers managed to get about 250 kilometres of range from Sharma’s car when they took it in for testing.
In an emailed response to ET’s queries, a Tata Motors spokesperson said: “This is just an isolated complaint filed by a customer. Majority of our customers are happy with the performance of our vehicle. Tata Nexon EV satisfies all policy and eligibility criteria of the Central Government’s FAME II Policy (for promoting electric vehicles) and the Delhi EV Policy 2020, wherein the minimum range required is 140 kilometres per full charge.”
Ranjan Ray, a Delhi-based architect who has owned electric cars since 2014, said he normally gets 230-250 kilometres of range on his Nexon EV under normal driving with the air conditioner on. But, under ideal conditions, he has even managed to squeeze 407 kilometres out of his car in a single charge.
“It is all about the driving style. Most energy is consumed while accelerating. Even I can get 120 kilometres of range if I drive differently,” he told ET. Ray is part of a group called Nexon EV Owners Club on messaging app Telegram which has more than 400 members.
However, the range wasn’t the only issue to have troubled Nexon EV owners. The Nashik-based customer said his car would spontaneously shift to the neutral mode while driving and stall. It was a major reason for him to sell his car, he said.
Members of the owner’s club group said the problem happened with a few others too, but it has since been resolved by the company through software updates. Software updates also helped improve the range of the car and solve a few other smaller issues which come with any new technology, they said.