The cost of petrol and diesel is increasing by the day. Petrol has already surpassed the dreaded ₹100/litre mark in major metro cities. Is this a compelling incentive to switch to an electric vehicle?
To answer the question, we’ll look at the Tata Nexon, which comes in both petrol and electric versions.
On the skin, they appear to be the same, but they are vastly different underneath the skin, with the electric variation replacing the engine and fuel tank with a floor-mounted battery pack and an electric motor. But that’s not all, the EV is also significantly more expensive than its petrol counterpart. Is there a justification for that?
We’re going to pit the Nexon XZA+(O) with its turbo-petrol automatic drivetrain against the top-of-the-line XZ+ Nexon EV in our comparison.
On the inside, the Nexon EV XZ+Lux and the Nexon XZA+(O) have the same amenities, such as a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an 8-speaker Harman sound system, an electric sunroof, and a leatherette-wrapped steering wheel. They both have projector headlamps with daytime running lights, blacked-out ORVMs, 16-inch alloy wheels, automated headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers on the outside.
The Nexon EV lacks the Xpress Cool feature, which cools the cabin faster, as well as the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). While the Xpress Cool feature (or lack thereof) isn’t a deal killer, the TPMS feature in an EV might be quite useful, as low tyre pressures increase rolling resistance, which reduces range.
Under the Hood or Under the Floor!
The Nexon petrol is powered by a 1.2-litre engine with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 1199cc engine produces 118 horsepower and 170 Nm of torque. The Nexon EV, on the other hand, is equipped with a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) that produces 127bhp and 240Nm, as well as a 30.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a single-speed transmission that allows it to reach a top speed of 120kmph. The EV has two driving modes: Drive and Sport, but the petrol variant has three options: City, Eco, and Sport. The Nexon EV’s ARAI-certified range is 312 kilometres, while the Nexon petrol’s ARAI-certified mileage is 17 kilometres per gallon.
On paper, the Nexon EV is more powerful and torquey, but it weighs 1400kg due to the large battery pack, compared to 1188kg for the Nexon petrol.
How Safe are They?
In the global NCAP crash test, the Nexon was the first car in India to receive a five-star rating. While the EV hasn’t been individually tested, the structural integrity is expected to be the same. Battery safety in the event of an accident is also a consideration, though we don’t believe it is anything you need to be concerned about. There are no tests to confirm it, but Tata Motors, with its great safety record, is unlikely to sell a car that is compromised in any way. Both the electric and petrol models have the same safety equipment, including dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX, and front fog lamps. The Nexon EV, on the other hand, lacks the safety features that come standard on the ICE-powered Nexon, such as Hill Hold Control and emergency braking help.
Now moving on to the tough part.
The Price or The Price Difference
The Nexon petrol automatic starts at Rs 8.59 lakh for the entry-level XMA variation and rises to Rs 11.29 lakh for the top-of-the-line XZA+(O) variant and Rs 11.49 lakh for the dual-tone XZA+DT(O) variant. The Nexon EV, on the other hand, starts at Rs 13.99 lakh for the entry-level XM model and rises to Rs 16.40 lakh for the top-spec XZ+Lux variant.
Yes, you will have to pay an extra 5 lakhs for the EV while both the petrol version and electric version are pretty the same on a primary level. But what you have to consider is you can save a good amount of money on fuel and not having to visit the maintenance centre regularly.