Tata Nexon Electric EV Road Test Review – Electric Days Ahead

We have driven India’s own Electric SUV from Tata Motors – the Nexon Electric Vehicle that aims to offer a clean, cool, stylish, practical and real-world solution for faster EV adoption in India. The new NEXON EV is the first car to be powered by the state of the art ‘ZIPTRON Technology’ by Tata Motors. This is not the first time Tata has come up with an EV in fact it’s the second offering after the rather forgettable Tigor EV which saw the light of the day and almost went invisible. The NEXON EV promises to address the main deal breaking factors while opting for an  EV, namely the RANGE and PERFORMANCE. It also aims to change the outlook of the consumers towards the EV from sluggish small tiny vehicles to an everyday car. Read on further to know how good the all-new Nexon EV is, as we drive the car in and around Pune.

Design, Interiors & Connected features

The new Nexon EV sports a bold and confident design that brings into play the IMPACT DESIGN 2.0 language. The new design further accentuates the already strong and purposeful stance of the Nexon, resulting in a road presence that makes it stand out & apart. The slim, wide grille-cum-lamp entity is underscored by the Tata Motors Humanity Line running from lamp to lamp, adding a touch of premiumness through its chrome treatment and more three-dimensional form.

Completing the new design of the front end is the bumper with its sporty central grille, detailed with the Tata Motors signature Tri-Arrows now in blue to show that its an electric powered vehicle. Only gripe we have is the headlight bulbs which are standard halogens instead of the all-LED headlights which were showcased at the time of unveiling the Nexon EV last month.

On the inside, the Nexon EV cabin comes with modern design, spacious interiors, and premium sound management to deliver a comfortable tranquil drive. The blue accents surrounding the instrument cluster, aircon vents and the storage space in front of the drive mode selector looks modern and gives the sense of being in an electric car. The vehicle also comes with a 7-inch Harman infotainment system offering top-notch connectivity and unmatched acoustics which is a boon to audiophiles like us.

It also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Nexon EV now offers 35 Mobile App based connected features, ranging from remote commands, vehicle tracking, driving behavior analytics, navigation and remote diagnostics. The ZConnect App enables owners to locate the nearby charging points, TML service stations, set-up speed alerts, track vehicle location and many more features.

Electric Motor & Drive

Nexon EV comes equipped with a powerful and high-efficiency 129 PS permanent-magnet AC motor powered by a high capacity 30.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor produces 245 Nm of instant torque from a standstill, enabling Nexon EV to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 9.9 seconds. Our drive consisted parts of Pune city and the outskirts where we could gauge the performance of the EV and how tractable it is in different driving conditions. The EV comes with a best-in-industry dust and water proof battery pack which meets IP67 standards.

This high-density battery pack is liquid cooled which helps it in keeping its cool even on the hottest day India may throw at it. The battery pack is placed underneath the vehicle body, giving the SUV a center of gravity more akin to that of a sedan or a hatchback, ensuring maximum stability and excellent dynamic performance on winding roads. It comes with two drive modes DRIVE and SPORTS. While the normal drive mode is best suited for city as well as relaxed highway cruising. Sports mode is exactly opposite to that and offers almost 60% higher performance and quick throttle response without any kind of lag from the electric motor.

The Nexon EV handles all the extra torque and power really well, even better than its ICE counterpart in our opinion. Even though the suspension is slightly on the stiffer side, the ride quality still remains it’s forte and handles bad patches and undulating roads without breaking into hives. Also, the regenerative braking helps charge the battery while decelerating or driving down a hilly course. Hill Ascent & Descent Assist which we got to experience at the Tata Motors facility makes driving on slopes more convenient and the creep feature allows user to tackle congested city traffic without fatigue.

We also experienced the water wading capacity of the Nexon EV at the facility with waters as high as 30 centimetres and the car effortlessly drove past it without any hiccups. The NEXON has already proved itself on safety front by achieving the global NCAP 5 rating and the EV is no different with the batteries not giving up even when thoroughly tested with piercing nails, crushing or surviving under water up to 1 meter.

Nexon EV delivers a claimed long range of 312 kms on a single charge(according to ARAI tests). When plugged into a Fast DC Charger, the Nexon EV will replenish 80% battery capacity within 60 minutes. In addition, the Nexon EV can be charged from any 15 amp plug point, though, that will take 8 hours to charge the battery from 20-100%.

Verdict

If you are looking for an exciting car with thrill and zeal on offer with zero emissions – then Nexon EV is your car. The car promises an efficient voltage system, peppy performance, fast charging capability, extended battery life and class leading safety features.  The Nexon EV is due to be launched in the end of January 2020 and is expected to be priced between INR 15-17 lakhs.

The Nexon EV seems like a value for money offering in the electric car space which is slowly picking momentum in India. The Tata Nexon EV has all the ingredients to become the next daily commuter’s drive and with an 8 year or 160,000 kilometres warranty on the battery pack and electric motor – this will definitely provide complete peace of mind to the buyers.

Words – Amit Shelar
Photography – Govind Gadekar

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