Tata Motors is confident of the cutting-edge EV powertrain Ziptron offering class-leading zippy performance for its EV portfolio.

Story by:

Deven Lad

At Tata Motors, the journey to introduce the new generation of electric vehicles faster to the market has begun with the launch of the Nexon EV. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has delivered on its promise to power the first EV (Nexon) with the cutting-edge EV powertrain Ziptron. Expected to be the first of many EVs besides the Tigor EV also expected to be powered by the Ziptron, the company has carefully zeroed in on this state-of-the-art technology to offer a zippy performance. Tailor-made configurations of the Tata Motors’ EV portfolio have been developed keeping in mind the future demands of e-mobility in India according to Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD at Tata Motors. Averred Butschek, “At the heart of our future EV line-up, this technology will deliver a thrilling driving experience to our customers aspiring to go-green. Rigorously tested across one million km, Ziptron technology is well-proven, advanced and reliable. With this technology, we hope to usher in a new wave of eMobility in India and accelerate faster adoption of EVs, supporting the Government’s vision.” “The future of efficient, green, sustainable mobility solutions needs to translate into reality. As a responsible corporate, we are doing every bit to contribute to this agenda and are gearing up to bring a new generation of products faster to market,” he added.

 

Comprising of a highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous AC motor and a single-speed gearbox, the company is confident of meeting on-demand superior performance needs. Ziptron additionally is known to utilise smart regenerative braking enabling it to charge the battery on the fly. The regenerative braking utilises smart drive tech features to help charge the battery while coasting, in the case of hill ascent and during descent to make driving on slopes more convenient. The Smart Regen with creep feature is claimed to allow the driver to brave congested stretches sans fatigue. In the Nexon EV, the high-density battery pack is liquid-cooled to aid the vehicle to excel in Indian conditions, from (-) five degrees to a high of 45 degrees Celsius. The battery pack is placed underneath the vehicle body and said to give the SUV a centre of gravity similar to a sedan or a hatchback. This, the company has said ensures maximum stability and an excellent dynamic performance. The Ziptron in case of the Nexon EV offers two drive mode options – Drive and Sport. The Ziptron in the case of Nexon is configured such that a 29 PS permanent-magnet AC motor powered by a high capacity 30.2 kWh lithium-ion battery has the motor developing 245 Nm of instant torque from the standstill position.

First showcased in September 2019, Ziptron was hailed as the new benchmark in the EV segment courtesy its claims of a class-leading zippy performance with an acceleration of 0-100 kmph in 9.9 seconds. It is also claimed to offer an anxiety-free long range of 300 km (internal testing data) on a single charge. When plugged into a fast DC Charger, the Nexon EV is claimed to replenish 80 per cent of the battery capacity within a quick span of 60 minutes. In addition, the Nexon EV can also be charged from any 15 amp plug point. The resultant regular charging means the EV can be charged from 20 per cent to 100 per cent in an eight-hour time span. Speaking at the launch, mentioned Butschek, “This is a high performance, connected vehicle that is uniquely suited to address the aspirations of Indian customers and break all barriers for EV adoption. We are confident that this development will mark an important milestone in India’s electrification journey, and further reinforce our commitment towards developing sustainable and responsible mobility solutions for India.” Considered to be a building block towards Tata Motors’ end objective of commonality, economies of scale and to make new technologies affordable for Indian consumers, the Ziptron has succeeded in making the right noises. It is claimed to embody an efficient high voltage system, long-range, fast charging capability, eight years warranty on the battery pack besides adherence to the IP67 standard, a best in class industry dust and waterproof battery system that set a new benchmark for the Tata Motors EV portfolio. ACI

Anand Kulkarni, Vice President – Passenger Electric Vehicles at Tata Motors

Q. Your EV journey began with the Tigor with the limited range and the extended range. While that was a different segment, what learnings from it have gone into Nexon EV in the SUV space?

A. Tigor EV and Nexon EV are completely different architectures. One is low voltage and the other is higher. Principally both EVs are built on different strategies and for a different target group. While the former was aimed at fleets the latter is aimed at end-use. Therefore if you ask me, while the features like an IP67 battery can be incorporated but in general there is no carrying over of that architecture or components.

Q. How excited are you about the Ziptron powering the entire EV portfolio?

A. Of course, its a wonderful technology. With great enabling technology many times you have a product which does something similar but let me assure you that the design language is completely different. Here we have the design language absolutely coming together with the performance of the car. It makes for a wholesome product because the product does exactly what it is meant to.

Q. Does the eight-year warranty on the battery pack signify a new benchmark?

A. The eight-year/one lakh sixty thousand kilometres warranty doesn’t mean the battery will go down after the stipulated period. The actual battery life could be very different. In case of the scope of re-purposing these battery modules can be utilised for energy storage applications. For example, some start ups are working on sourcing end of life cycle battery packs and re-purposing them to be utilised as power packs for lanterns in the lesser electrified regions so and so forth. The answer simply is that after the end of the battery life cycle the packs won’t end up in a landfill.

Q. How have you optimised the onboard Battery Management System?

A. The BMS manages the performance by looking at its current-voltage, temperature and making sure that none of these triggers a very high or low voltage spike. The way the battery pack is made is it combines a number of battery cells in a certain way to make a single module which inturn combines in a certain way to make up a pack. Each of this cell has a voltage which has an upper limit and a lower limit. If any of these cells inside the pack were to cross the limit and then that is a trigger for the pack to indicate a malfunction and force shut the battery. You optimise hundreds of cells to work in a symphony.

Q. Does the commonality of architecture in Zipton pave the way for the shared battery packs?

A. Because it’s a different car the battery pack used for Nexon won’t fit in another vehicle and vice versa. However, there are elements of the battery in the architecture that could be carried over. For example, the commonality or architectural integrity can happen at the cell level itself or it could happen at the BMS level. It could also take place within the cooling system.

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