Recent reports are suggesting that Tata Motors’ upcoming electric car the Altroz EV will get a 25 to 40% longer driving range than the Nexon electric. The Nexon EV gets a respectable 312km range from a 30.2kWh battery pack. A 25-40% bump in that translates to a range of 390 - 435km range.
A larger battery comes across as the obvious solution to achieving this ridiculous range from a mass-market electric car. But there’s more to the story. Here’s how the Altroz EV can achieve this:
If we compare the Altroz and Nexon with the same 1.5-litre diesel engines, you’ll notice that the Altroz is almost 200kg lighter. That difference is coming primarily from the frame and other parts as the two cars here are using the same engine. A 15% drop in weight alone should contribute substantially to extending the range. A rough guess hints at a 5-10% jump in the range from the lighter weight alone.
Secondly, the Nexon is a bigger and taller car with massive ground clearance. Not only does it need to push a lot of air around, to make way for itself, it has to make do with some turbulent air underneath. And a big rear hatch area further creates a big pocket of dirty air behind causing more drag.
Hint: If you look at a drop, its tail is small, which minimizes the drag from the rear.
For an already-inefficient internal combustion engine, this is a negligible addition to its inefficiencies. But for an electric car, this is substantial. The Altroz EV should manage to squeeze another 5-10% from its superior aerodynamic profile even at city speeds.
3. Battery Density - Weight
Battery technologies are evolving rapidly in recent years and so is the production processes. We can expect the Altroz EV to use a slightly different production process or chemistry to achieve higher density. Therefore, a 30kWh in the Altroz will weigh less than what it does in the Nexon. There are again efficiency gains from hauling less battery weight around. We’re estimating a 2-5% improvement in the range from lugging less weight around.
4. Battery Capacity
Some of those weight savings from the battery density could go straight towards adding more cells while still weighing less than Nexon’s battery pack.
A 5-10% higher battery capacity would also give an equally longer driving range.
5. Less Powerful Motor
The Nexon is a big, burly hunk of steel. The Altroz is much smaller and lighter. It doesn’t need the same motor as the Nexon to achieve similar city and highway driving performance. So, Tata Motors may detune the motor or use a less powerful motor with slightly taller gearing to achieve better efficiency. This can become the biggest contributor to the longer range of the Altroz EV.
This should easily add around 10% to the driving range of the Tata Altroz electric.
Together, all of these factors could help the Altroz EV achieve the rumoured 25-40% longer driving range than the Nexon. Based on the rumoured estimates, the final driving range of the Altroz could be around 390-435km per full charge.