8% battery on my Nexon EV: Tata denies charger access, MG offers theirs

At 180W/km even when driving with the lightest foot possible, I get about 160-170km per 100% charge.

BHPian iceguy101 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

For 6 months, Tata impressed me. In one day, that changed.

Exaggeration? Let me explain.

In 2021 December, we welcomed a youthful, butch member with an electrifying personality (pun intended) into our family. We were all totally over the moon. 3 months of calls and texts to the dealer finally paid off, as we took the Nexon EV home from Sudarshan Motors. The wait was frustrating, but when we received the car, its robust build, refined powertrain, and go-anywhere nature made it worth the wait.

What ensued was a positive experience for the most part. The car has the best suspension in its class. The rear seats are roomy and comfortable. They can also accommodate senior citizens or people with back issues due to the back support on offer. The ground clearance is ample. The motor is peppy and overtaking is a breeze.

The car has been greatly satisfactory, except for some minor ergonomic and range issues. E.g: the lever for opening the charging port is placed so close to the door frame that it gets stuck over it, every single time. How difficult is it to place a small tab/button that too in such a large open space at the bottom? Also, the USB port and car charger are placed at an angle that makes it very awkward to access them. But anyway, these are small issues that can be ignored.

The worst issue though is the range. The company claims 300+ km on a single charge. It is barely half of that. At 180W/km even when driving with the lightest foot possible, I get about 160-170km per 100% charge. Pathetic. But with most of my drives being within the city, I have made peace with it.

Until today.

I had to attend to some work in Mumbai’s Chembur area. Due to a power cut, I couldn’t charge my car the night before and left home with 58% in the morning. The area is about 50km from where I live, so it was practically impossible to make it back with that level of the battery. I decided I’ll charge it on the way back at one of the numerous chargers available. Reached my destination with 28% to spare. Favourable traffic conditions and light-footed driving helped me travel 50km in 30%.

Got done with my work, and decided I’ll charge it in Navi Mumbai on the way back. Now the thing is, the way home largely bypasses the city. For me to access the chargers available there, I had to enter Nerul which also consumed some battery. I decided to check out the charger at Seawoods Mall. Turns out it was a Tata Motors AC Charger with a different input that required a different connector. The mall security had no idea about the provision of an AC charger. They tried their best to help but were not informed well about the charging port by their superiors. Tough luck.

Google Maps displayed another charger about 2km away. When I reached there, it was merely a charging port for your regular adaptor which is a slow charger. Still, I decided I’ll charge it here even if it takes time. Such was my misfortune, that some less-than-smart people had parked their cars right in front of the station, making it inaccessible.

Last-ditch attempt, I made my way to the Tata dealership in Nerul. At this point, the battery was at 8%. The car is undrivable at this point. The power is majorly restricted and the regen braking is so strong that you’ll want to get out of the car and just walk home.

Anyway, I reached Fortune Cars, Tata. When you buy a Nexon EV, the salesman will proudly boast about the availability of chargers at all Tata dealerships that are accessible to the consumer. Far from the case. I entered the premises and located a charger. Before I could even get down from the car, the watchman was quick to tell me to take the car off the premises. According to him, the chargers were reserved for the test-drive and delivery cars. The public charger was outside. Fair enough, I said. To my disappointment, there was a single charger outside which was in use by another car. Meanwhile, there were at least 3 chargers inside the compound, of which two weren’t even in use. I entered the showroom building and requested them to let me use the charger, and said I’ll pay whatever amount is required. The woman at the desk didn’t even flinch before saying no. She said it's for the company, and I cannot by any means use it. I said I’ll disconnect it if a company car needs charging. What’s the harm if I’m using it while there is no car waiting to be charged? Again, firm no.

I walked outside to the public charger. To my surprise, a sales executive told me that the car connected to the charger was actually a delivery car that was due later in the day for delivery.
It was quite preposterous that Tata made the indoor chargers inaccessible to the public, claiming they’re “TD and delivery car chargers” while their delivery car is making use of a public charger. A Tigor EV owner had the same complaint. This caused quite some commotion outside.

In the meanwhile, I asked someone at the MG showroom next to Tata if I can charge my car at their dealership, and that I’ll pay for it. He said no need to pay, feel free to use it, but that it is a slow charger. While I really appreciated the welcoming nature of the company, I did not have the time or patience for a slow charger at this point.

I returned to Tata Fortune Cars. The commotion caused a managerial figure to step out and intervene. When confronted, his reaction shocked me. He said, “I am not at all concerned with your charging needs. We sold you a car and provided you with a charger at home, our job ends there. You’re on your own, I’m not responsible for your charging needs.”

The absolute disregard for customer satisfaction or even bare minimum sympathy from his side truly pissed me off. He continued, “If you’re low on battery, you should have charged it at home. The charger is from Tata Power. I am not concerned with them or the parking space outside or who is using the charger. I’m only responsible for selling the car.”

I asked him, “Is that your approach? That you only want to make the sale and do not care about the customer’s grievances after that?”

He said, “If that’s how you want to take it, go ahead.”

Now mind you, this was a managerial person, not a sales executive or floor employee. In fact, the sales executives outside were nice throughout the ordeal.

The argument continued back and forth until he concluded that the car had charged enough and that I can use it. Even after that, he kept making defensive comments throwing shade at the people waiting to charge there.

Until now, I was very happy with the car. But if this is how Tata dealerships’ top-tier employees treat their customers, I would happily trade the car for another of lesser quality, as long as that company treats consumers well.

Here's what BHPian prasanna_indaje had to say on the matter:

Was in a similar situation a month ago, tried two Tata Power chargers and one BESCOM charger without any success. Finally reached another Tata Power Charger with 5% SoC and charged there to 100% for onward journey of 350 km, which is enabled by 3 Zeon chargers and 2 Tata power chargers.

To my luck, all chargers in the route went offline as soon as I started and I was forced to take a longer route with a lesser number of chargers. I faced issues in charging at these FCs, which consumed more time. I somehow managed to reach home at 12 midnight.

Tata Motors SA showed unacceptable behaviour, no doubt. But, end of the day, charging the car enough is our responsibility.

Here's what BHPian Vid6639 had to say on the matter:

Lesson 101 on how to remove faith from a customer who believed in the brand and in EV.

I have heard Tata has been trying to give the best experience for EV customers even if they are from competitors. In fact, just the other day someone driving an MG ZS EV told me how he was saved by the Tata showroom which let the MG inside their dealership charge the car using the dealership charger in Goa.

This experience of yours is the opposite and needs to be highlighted to Tata Power and Tata Motors. Simply not done.

Here's what BHPian cool_dube had to say on the matter:

180Wh/km is on the higher side for sure - no wonder you are not getting more than 160-170 km of range on a single charge. I have seen folks consume as low as 110-120 Wh/km with a very conservative driving style, which I personally find stressful. I manage about 140-150 Wh/km with a regular driving style. Do you run your a/c at full blast or keep the climate control in "Auto" mode most of the time? Also, check your tire pressure - could be low.

The Nexon EV is a great VFM product by today's EV standards. While the dealer's attitude is unacceptable, please do not make that a basis to walk away from a good product. Unfortunately, Tata Motors have a long way to go when it comes to customer care/satisfaction, be it sales or service.

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