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Tata Motors-TPG deal validates EV opportunity in India; launch pipeline impressive: Experts

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To discuss the Tata Motors-TPG group's deal, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Rishabh Jain, the programme lead at Council on Energy, Environment and Water-Centre for Energy Finance, Karthik Reddy, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Blume Ventures & Vice Chairman at Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association and Rohan Rao, partner at KPMG in India for EVs.

Tata Motors will invest over $2 billion in its electric vehicle (EV) business over the next five years, a company executive said on Tuesday after the Indian automaker announced it had raised funds from private equity firm TPG. The stock has been in overdrive in the past few trading sessions rising 45 percent in the last five.
This is the first major fundraising by an Indian carmaker to push clean mobility when global automakers such as General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota Motor are spending tens of billions of dollars to speed up EV adoption and also counter China's dominance of the sector.
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Speaking about the deal Rohan Rao, partner at KPMG in India for EVs said, “ "We cannot comment on the deal specifically but can provide an industry outlook on this subject.”
"ESG is very big on every major international funds agenda and this is a great business from that standpoint, environmentally conscious, sustainable, and the highest standards of corporate governance. So it is a confluence of these three and no better opportunity than this at this point in time in the Indian EV ecosystem, and it is great it is a shot in the arm for the overall Indian ecosystem the way I look it," Rao said.
"The charge in EVs is obviously being led by two and three-wheelers and we are expecting a 10 to 15 percent conversion over there by 2025," he added.
Rishabh Jain, the programme lead at Council on Energy, Environment and Water-Centre for Energy Finance, believes that the growth trajectory for Tata Motors is looking healthy in the EV segment.
“The company is now valued at $9.1 billion after the current investment. Tata Motors currently has three models that they offer for regular passengers and one for fleet.  They are coming up with 10 models in the next five years and this is very ambitious and it is a very good boost for consumers in the four-wheeler space," he said.
These new models are likely to be launched in a phased manner.
"By the end of 2026 when we may see 13 or 15 models by Tata Motors. There is one interesting point in the way this deal is structured. This new entity will develop technology and catalyze investment in charging infrastructure and batteries. However, Tata Motors will be responsible for manufacturing and even selling these vehicles and also for after-sales service. So it is a very interesting deal where this new entity is asset-light, and it is essentially a tech company. So this will really boost the sales in the four-wheeler market segment,” he added.
Karthik Reddy, Vice Chairman at Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association,  said that there are huge bets being made in the mass adoption of at least two-wheelers.
"There is a small three-wheeler revolution which, people are not seeing yet on the ground, but I think it is going to become the mode of mass transport. Infra, in my humble opinion, is more likely to first get driven at scale into the commercial or people transport of - whether it is people or goods but on a commercial basis in big cities first. I feel in a limited way, at the current moment, four-wheelers look like a little bit more of a luxury. Primarily because to put that kind of mass infrastructure in place will take its own 3-4-5 years." he said.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video...