(Reuters) - India's Tata Motors on Wednesday launched an electric model of its popular Tiago hatchback with a sticker price starting from 849,000 rupees ($10,370), making it the most affordable electric vehicle in the country.
Tata is the only automaker currently building EVs in India and the Tiago EV is expected to further its lead in the country's electric car market, even if much of that success is due to government subsidies and high tariffs that have kept out imports.
The Tiago EV is significantly cheaper than India's next most affordable EV - the electric version of Tata's Tigor compact sedan which starts at around $14,940. China, however, has some EV models that start as low as 32,800 yuan ($4,525).
The operating cost of the Tiago EV is expected to be about a seventh of the gasoline version.
To travel 1,000 kilometres (621 miles), a gasoline Tiago would require 7,500 rupees worth of fuel whereas the charging cost for the EV model would be 1,100 rupees, said Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and its EV subsidiary.
The cheapest version of the Tiago EV will have a driving range of 250 km on a single charge while a more expensive version will offer a range of 315 km.