Tata Motors has converted to their Gen-2 EV design, dubbed ‘Acti.ev’, with the all-new Punch EV, which debuted on January 17. The business claims that while the Punch EV has a comparable ‘top hat’ to its internal-combustion engine (ICE) cousin, a lot has changed below in terms of the platform, allowing the all-electric Punch to give real EV credentials.
To do this, the manufacturer drastically redesigned the Punch’s monocoque, making important alterations to the car’s floor pan, most notably reducing the hump in the rear portion that houses the catalytic converter and the exhaust pre-treatment system in the ICE version. This feature allowed engineers to provide a totally flat floor, which is typical of EVs, freeing up additional room in the back part of the cabin.
The change also allowed the Punch EV’s orthogonal battery pack, which is incorporated beneath the floor, to be lifted, resulting in a 3mm greater ground clearance (190mm) than the petrol-powered Punch. The integration of the battery pack has no effect on the boot capacity, which remains the same as the ICE Punch at 366 litres.
The ICE and electric versions of the freshly redesigned Punch may have a silhoutte, but that is where the similarities end. Underneath the EV is a completely redesigned platform tailored to the model’s engine packing criteria.
“There are significant changes between the two cars in terms of the floor layout, sill layout, as well as crash-load paths to allow for the creation of additional capabilities to support multiple drivetrain configurations — front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive — on the Acti.ev platform. This has led to several changes in the layout of the architecture itself.” The upcoming Tata Curvv and Harrier EV will be based on the Acti.ev architecture as well.
The company says there are 40 less tools required to make the Punch EV monocoque than the ICE platform. However, to assemble both cars on the same line, a change has been induced in the manufacturing process. Tata Motors has created a ‘forking’ on the assembly line to seamlessly switch between the ICE and EV monocoques on the main conveyor for final assembly. “There are lesser parts in the architecture, and the manufacturing processes have changed as well. Therefore, all put together, it is an extremely comprehensive change under the floor, and while there may be some dimensional similarities between the ICE and EV versions, the platforms are completely different,” Kulkarni said.
“The Acti.ev architecture is chemistry agnostic, and therefore, it is possible for us to use different battery chemistries on this architecture, depending on the requirements of other models on this platform in future,” Kulkarni added.
With four levels of regenerative braking, Tata Motors says the maximum regen on the Punch EV can vary between 0.15G to 0.19G, thereby allowing to regenerate a significant amount of energy into the battery pack. In terms of charging, the Punch EV comes with a 3.3kW AC wall-box charger as standard that could recharge the 25kW battery pack in 13.5 hours. The option of a 7.2kW AC fast charger with the long-range version, which gets recharged in 5 hours is available and both versions can accept up to 50kW DC fast charging, thereby going from 10 to 80 percent in less than an hour.