By Promit Mukherjee
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian automaker Tata Motors will launch an electric vehicle (EV) early next year based on a new powertrain technology it has developed to grow its portfolio of clean energy cars, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.
The government's incentive scheme supporting electric transport and a recent cut in taxes on electric cars is making it more affordable to build EVs, Guenter Butschek, CEO, Tata Motors, told reporters in Mumbai.
"It is a completely different conversation (on EVs) now. It has changed. Because in the past, it was all about proving the case. Now ... it gives an opportunity to make EVs mainstream," said Butschek.
India is encouraging automakers to build EVs in an effort to curb high pollution in several cities and also to bring down its fuel import bill.
But it has faced some resistance from carmakers, which say there charging infrastructure needs to be set up first and that battery costs are too high to build affordable EVs for the Indian market.
Tata Motors said EVs built using the new powertrain technology will have a range of 250 kilometers on a single charge and the company will offer a warranty of eight years on the batteries.
"We are working on multiple products to make electric vehicles mainstream," said Butschek, adding the company would soon give details about the kind of vehicle it will launch.
(Writing by Aditi Shah; Editing by Mark Potter)