A Review after 8 months and 11,500km run on the Tata Tigor EV Ziptron
Buying Decision making-
In 2020, I started to look for a second vehicle for the household as my mom decided to learn how to drive and my then gf (now wife) and I were planning to get married and she drives. So we would need 2 cars in the houshold. Then we were planning to get rid of the 4 year old Maruti Swift with almost 70,000 km on the odo and buy a new car. My mother was sure she wanted a bigger car and really liked the C-SUVs. Thus started my search for 2 cars to be bought, without creating too big a hole in the pocket both in terms of the cost of the cars as well as the regular running costs.
We ended up buying the Nexon Petrol XZ+ in December 2020 (took 4 months for delivery as we bought it via the GoI portal as my mom works in a PSU). This was a manual and both my mom and then gf clamoured that the other car should be an automatic. Within a month of driving the Nexon, I realised that this is not anywhere near efficient as the Swift which returned 13-14kmpl in the city and 16-18kmpl in the highway! The Nexon was returning about 8-9kmpl in the city (especially in the hands of our driver) and about 14kmpl on the highway.
Here is the Nexon during our Mumbai to Kanyakumari drive.
We figured out a budget of about 6-7Lakhs for the second car. Considering my fuel bill from the Nexon, Petrol was a no go. Diesel Automatics in the new car segment were all going way beyond my budget. So looked at the used car market. I checked out some 15 cars from Cars24, Olx, Facebook Marketplace etc., however, none were either fitting the bill or would help with the lowering of the running costs which we hoped for. This made me look at EVs as an alternative, considering they would also comply with the demand for an automatic car and are usually frugal to run. I checked some less run (<15000 km on the odo) E2Os and E2O+. None were in a good shape and the prices being quoted seemed very high. Then, while going through Facebook Marketplace and OLX, I ended up contacting some folks in Nashik, who had bought some 20 eVeritos in auction from Mahindra itself. I bargained to buy an eVerito for 4.8L from the guy. We bought the car in March'21. This car had 120km of range and was just about adequate for the city drives.
Here is the Mahindra eVerito. Yes I had added some stickers to make it look less like a white taxi.
We used the car for about 11 months and covered 12,000kms on it. In that time I was convinced that an EV was perfect as a second car in the family, especially for city usage.
With the Nexon EV gaining in popularity, Tata Power went on a war footing to set up EV chargers everywhere and even smaller companies like Statiq, etc were setting up chargers. BUT, they were all CCS2 type chargers and the eVerito, being a 72V system could only accept GBT type charger for fast charging. This made the eVerito obsolete. The eVerito did its part to convince me completely to buy an EV next time I bought a car, especially as a second car in the house.
In August'21 when Tata launched the Tigor, I was smitten by it. My best friend in Kolkata had a Tiago and I had driven it enough to know that for a city car it was more than adequate. The Tigor was the same chassis with the added boot space.
I went to get a test drive for the Tigor the very next day, however, none of the Tata showrooms in Mumbai had a Tigor test drive vehicle (they said that all the test drive vehicles were on media drive duties after launch for 1 week)
So I ended up test driving the Nexon EV. And boy was I impressed! It was way better than the eVerito which I was driving and felt like a different class! On checking the prices, I realised that even post the subsidies being offered, I would need to shell out close to 15L. This was an absolute no go! Not to be disheartened, I booked myself for a test drive at the Puneet showroom in Prabhadevi (where I knew the folks considering they had delivered my Nexon) for the next week when the tigor would be available.
The test drive car had about 1300km on the odo. I loved the experience. It had all the ingredients of the Nexon EV, but in a smaller package. All 3 of us took turns to test drive the car and even though we were not looking to buy a car, were quite convinced that we should replace the eVerito with the Tigor EV!
In the meantime, Maharashtra Government announced the EV subsidy scheme and the early bird scheme. We calculated that if we bought the Tigor before end of December'21, we would end up with 2.3L as a subsidy. This along with the fact that we were getting almost 4.5L for the eVerito (this is the time when the cost of petrol hit 100 for the first time and people were looking for EVs), convinced us that we should sell the eVerito and buy the Tigor EV.
Experience of Ownership-
We took delivery of the car on 3rd February 2022. It costed us exactly 11Lon road post all the subsidies and dealer level discounts.
The same week we took delivery of the Tigor, we decided to do a trip to Alibaug. This was the first time I was taking an EV outside Mumbai, so I decided to completely plan the trip. I made a note of all the charging stations along the way (there were none post Navi Mumbai) and even kept a note of the Tata dealer nearest from Alibaug in case I needed help in terms of getting towed if I got stuck without charge somewhere. The distance to the resort from my place in Mumbai was showing 120km and I knew that if I drove in a sedate manner, I would be able to reach and come back to Navi Mumbai and charge somewhere. Thankfully we were able to charge at the resort itself. Thus began the Tigor EV journey for my family.
So, the Tigor EV will deliver about 180-220km of range no matter how you drive (unless you decide to thrash it around in Sports mode) in the city or on the highway. It takes 7-8hrs to charge via a 15amps socket. Mostly we drive the Tigor in the city and a once a month trip to Pune which come to about 400km( 300km to and fro and some running within Pune).
Just to put into context the cost savings one can get from an EV- a round trip to Pune costs us about INR1100 (INR 630 tolls and about INR450-500 for charging the car on slow charger at both Mumbai and Pune overnight). In the Nexon petrol it would cost us something like INR 3800-4000 (considering 14kmpl average, 30liters of Petrol and rest 630 toll). Thats like 1/3rd the cost if not lesser. When compared to my Nexon, its like saving INR10 for every km I drive the Tigor EV vis a vis my Nexon. This has meant that the Nexon is only used when we end up going for our once in a quarter long drive.
In my 8 months and about 12,000km experience of the Tigor EV, here are the positives-
1. The drive on the Tigor is silent, plaint and comfortable.
2. The Harman sourced music system is very good in terms of the music quality, barely average in terms of the touch screen.
3. No issues in going through the "roads" of Mumbai post monsoon. Suspension is quite sorted, supple.
4. Power delivery is just as it should be on an EV- Instant. To put it into perspective, the 74bhp is not a lot, but the car can easily be driven at 90kmph on the expressway and it feels extremely stable. The torque is brilliant and the traffic light "its lights off and away we go" race sessions are quite enjoyable.
5. In my humble opinion, you get 2 cars in the Tigor EV- one sedate and well mannered one when the car is in D mode and another crazy unexpected car when in S mode. They feel like poles apart. I tried to drive the car in an enthusiastic manner in S mode for a full day, it lasted me 89km and the battery was at 22%. So if you want to extract range, you need to be sedate
6. Sound isolation in the Tigor EV is average, however you will feel a certain calm in it, even in the hustle and bustle of city life
7. The car delivers 200km of range in most use cases within the city, which with an average commute of 30km/day would last a whole week before one needs to recharge
Heres the photo of the odo when I completed 10,000kms!
In the last 8 months, I have observed the following in terms of issues-
1. Do not believe the range shown on the console. It completely depends on how you have driven in the last 15mins/ 5kms. Look at the below image, its next to impossible that a car with 26kWh battery gives that much range with ~70% battery remaining. One should instead look at the wh/km reading and try and keep that below 120 and you are good to go. Better caliberation should be done in the range displayed.
2. The Air condition system on the Tigor EV is faulty. It just never works when you need it to. Its not just my experience. I am a part of a group of more than 200 Tigor EV owners from all over India and almost 70% of us have faced some or the other issue with the AC. In my case, it worked perfectly till the 2nd free service at 7000km, since then the AC stops working if the ambient temperature goes above 30-32C and when you need it the most. Even when the AC works, its absolutely not adequate.
3. Fit and Finish issues- There are rattles from B and C pillars which start appearing every time one goes through a pothole riddled road. Being an EV, these rattles are even more prominent and irksome. The only way to solve this is to open up the internal panels and shut them up tight with a few hits.
4. The Tigor EV cannot be fast charged at all types of Fast chargers, even those on the Tata Power EZ charge app. This is a major concern as one might have planned to juice up at a particular charger and the car wont accept the charge. I believe this can be rectified via some software updates.
5. The Z connect App which Tata provides often times does not work or even if it works, shows wrong information. Also, it beats me as to how a company which has a tech giant like TCS as a sister company can have such glitches-
6. The absence of different modes of regeneration and Cruise control are a big miss in the Tigor EV. EVs like ICE cars work most efficiently when driven at a constant speed. Efficiency is even more critical in an EV as it may mean the difference of 2-3km can decide whether you could reach your destination or got stranded midway. Hopefully Tata will provide these with an update like that in the case of the Nexon EV users.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the car as is my family. Its a very good car for the city. The Tigor EV is comfortable, well spec'ed and delivers a decent range for daily city usage and planned highway usage.