Rajesh Rajgor recently had the incredible opportunity to take the new Tata Ace EV for a spin. Presented by Tata Motors, this revolutionary electric commercial vehicle promised a driving experience like no other.
Before I embarked on my drive with the Tata Ace EV, I couldn’t help but reflect on the remarkable journey of its predecessor, the Tata Ace. This iconic commercial vehicle had a storied history, revolutionizing the cargo transportation space in India. Over the past 17 years, the Tata Ace has become the most successful commercial vehicle in the country, providing livelihoods to an impressive 24 lakh satisfied customers.
The Tata Ace’s success story was a testament to its efficiency, reliability, and versatility. It has earned the trust of countless businesses and drivers across India, thanks to its ability to navigate narrow city streets while carrying substantial payloads. It was a true workhorse, powering the logistics and delivery operations of businesses large and small.
The Next Evolution: Tata Ace EV
As I embarked on my drive with the Tata Ace EV, it was clear that Tata Motors had taken the legacy of the Ace to the next level. In May 2022, Tata Motors had made a significant promise to provide a sustainable and comprehensive EV solution, aiming to deliver on-time, safe, super-efficient, and green transportation to consumers.
The Tata Ace EV represented the next evolution of this iconic vehicle, and it was poised to make a significant impact in the world of urban cargo transportation. With its advanced technology, robust performance, and unwavering dedication to green mobility, the Ace EV marked a significant leap forward in the commercial vehicle industry.
My drive with the Tata Ace EV was not just about experiencing a new vehicle; it was about being part of a transformative journey that bridged the legacy of the Tata Ace with the future of electric mobility. It was an exciting opportunity to be a part of the history, as Tata Motors continues to redefine what is possible in the world of cargo transportation.
My recent encounter with the Tata Ace EV left me in awe, especially when it comes to its exterior design. As I approached this revolutionary electric commercial vehicle, I couldn’t help but appreciate its futuristic appearance. The curved roof on top of the cabin (Aero Deflector that reduces drag resistance & improve range) caught my eye immediately, not only for its sleek aesthetics but also for its practicality in reducing wind resistance and enhancing efficiency. This aerodynamic feature, carefully designed by Tata, not only adds to the vehicle’s overall style but also contributes to its energy efficiency, a crucial factor in electric vehicles.
The sleek design of the front facia is equally captivating and isn’t just for the show; it’s a result of careful engineering aimed at optimizing the Ace EV’s performance. The LED tail lights at the rear not only enhance visibility but also add a modern touch to the vehicle’s overall design. However, what truly stands, was at the back – the innovative honeycomb-structured storage container. Designed for both lightness and strength, this container is equipped with integrated cameras and sensors, addressing the significant concern of theft for business owners. This unique design ensures that the Ace EV is not just a vehicle but a comprehensive solution that prioritizes both functionality and security for its operators – the transporter!
Stepping into the Tata Ace EV’s cabin was like entering a futuristic haven. The interior design left a lasting impression on me as I settled into the driver’s seat. The cabin featured a 3-switch piano button-type R-N-D (Reverse, Neutral, and Drive) gearbox, a marvel of simplicity and efficiency that elevated the driving experience. This gearbox design not only looks sleek but also reduces clutter and simplifies the driving process. It’s a testament to Tata’s commitment to user-friendly design.
The single-speed gearbox that eliminated the need for constant gear changes, ensuring a comfortable drive, particularly on long journeys. It was a relief not to worry about manual gear shifting, especially in urban traffic where smooth acceleration and deceleration are crucial. The large wind screen provided an unobstructed view of the surroundings, enhancing visibility. The absence of a traditional speedometer in front of the steering wheel added to the cabin’s modern aesthetics, giving it a minimalist and clean look that resonates with today’s tech-savvy drivers.
The dashboard was a high-tech centerpiece, offering essential information such as speed, battery charge percentage, and driving mode. Access to vital vehicle parameters, including battery status and remaining range, was easily available., making it invaluable for delivery drivers. This user-friendly interface ensured that drivers had all the information they needed at a glance, enhancing safety and convenience. The new-gen instrument cluster displayed all necessary vehicle data clearly and concisely, giving me complete control over the vehicle’s performance. This level of detail and information accessibility sets the Tata Ace EV apart in terms of driver experience. The glove box, placement of hand brake, grab handle, seat cushions, rollers for window and the overall look and finish was simplistic yet trendy.
Performance & Charging
The Tata Ace EV’s performance left a lasting impression from the moment I hit the accelerator. Its electric powertrain showcased incredible power, propelling the vehicle from 0 to 30 kmph in a mere 7-10 seconds. This impressive acceleration was a testament to the vehicle’s capabilities, especially in the context of urban delivery, where quick starts and stops are frequent.
One standout feature was its exceptional gradeability, effortlessly conquering steep inclines. Whether it was navigating rough roads or climbing steep ramps at a delivery point or the city flyovers, the Ace EV proved its mettle. The seamless driving experience, devoid of the need to manage the clutch and accelerator constantly, had the potential to redefine urban cargo transportation. This feature alone makes the Ace EV an attractive option for drivers, enhancing both comfort and efficiency on the road.
Safety and convenience were evident in the Ace EV’s design. The well-maintained 155 R13 LT 8PR tyres with steel wheels ensured top-notch performance and safety. The ability to charge the vehicle rapidly in just 105 minutes struck a perfect balance between downtime and productivity, critical for businesses relying on efficient cargo transportation. There is also a charging cable (Home plug solution with 15A socket / On-board charging gun provided), which is as long as the vehicle itself when unrolled, for regular home charging set-up.
With a certified range of 154 kilometers on a single charge, the Ace EV was tailor-made for urban cargo transportation. Its cargo volume of 208 ft³ and payload capacity of 600 kg ensured efficient goods transport, catering to a wide range of business needs. The advanced battery cooling system and IP67-rated water and dust-proof drive components guaranteed safe and reliable operations in all conditions. This level of performance and reliability makes the Ace EV a standout choice in the commercial vehicle market.
Under the Hood
While my experience with the Tata Ace EV was primarily focused on its exterior look, interior cabin, and performance, it’s crucial not to overlook what’s under the hood and the vehicle’s suspension system, which play pivotal roles in shaping its overall capabilities.
Under the hood, or rather under the cargo area, you’d find the heart of the Ace EV – a 21.3-kilowatt-hour battery that’s liquid-cooled. Tata has designed it this way to make it better suited to the Indian environment and to enhance safety for Indian consumers. This underlines Tata’s commitment to not just providing a cutting-edge electric vehicle but also ensuring that its core components are engineered for longevity and durability, essential factors for commercial vehicles.
The battery, being the energy source for the vehicle, is a critical component. The liquid cooling system helps in maintaining optimal operating temperatures, which is vital for the longevity and performance of electric vehicle batteries. This feature ensures that the Ace EV can consistently deliver the range and power that businesses rely on for their daily operations.
Now, let’s talk about the suspension system. The Ace EV features rigid suspension at the front wheels and leaf springs at the rear. This combination is well thought out for a vehicle designed for urban cargo transportation. Rigid suspension at the front provides stability and control, ensuring that the driver has a smooth and predictable driving experience.
On the other hand, leaf springs at the rear offer robust load-bearing capabilities. This design choice makes the Ace EV well-suited for the demands of cargo transportation, where payloads can vary significantly. The leaf springs provide the necessary support and resilience to handle varying loads without compromising on safety and performance.
Overall, my experience with the Tata Ace EV was nothing short of remarkable. It presented not just a vehicle but a comprehensive solution for sustainable and efficient urban cargo transportation. With its cutting-edge technology, robust performance, and unwavering commitment to green mobility, the Ace EV marked a significant leap forward in the commercial vehicle industry, promising a greener and more efficient future in cargo transportation. It’s a vehicle that doesn’t compromise on style, comfort, or performance and sets new standards in the world of electric commercial vehicles.