Tata Motors has planned to strengthen its R&D with fresh hiring as well as upskilling of the current employees this fiscal year to scale up capabilities across various business verticals, including the electric vehicle segment.
In the EV space, the company is looking to enhance its expertise in the area of battery packs and vehicle architecture, among others.
“As far as hiring in R&D is concerned, we are going for major hiring, especially this year, but there is also another area which we have looked into very deeply and that is upskilling the current engineers within R&D,” said Tata Motors President Passenger Vehicle and Electric Vehicles Shailesh Chandra.
“There is a lot of collaboration which will happen with various Tata companies, including JLR. So capabilities will not be only… limited to Tata Motors but also seeing the opportunities of synergies with JLR as well as other Tata companies, which have a lot of capability in the area of softwares. So, these are the areas where we are focusing on,” Chandra stated.
In the EV space, Chandra said the company has started to develop capabilities in the area of battery packs, motor design, and new architectures, among other critical functionalities.
On a query regarding synergies in the EV space, he said: “We have looked at each of the segments in CVs as well as PV, fleet as well as the personal segment, and we are trying to see where potential synergies can be in the area of the motor as far as in the area of batteries, especially the chemistry that we would like to choose, the form factors and as well as the CE rating because of the fast-charging capability and all.”
“There are certain commonalities that we have seen in the low voltage category… we have taken a view of our next four years, five years. And we have certain alignments as far as the choice of chemistry is concerned,” he added.
Chandra further said: ” So it’s an ongoing exercise as of the year going, we are expanding, different segments require different kinds of choices to be made, different power ratings and therefore, there are areas of synergies, but also areas where we have to be different.”
It is going to be a big component of how the company is planning to expand its R&D base, he added.
Chandra noted that there would be enhanced collaborations with other group entities, including JLR going ahead to enhance capabilities.
There are certain areas where the auto major has seen convergence, especially small commercial vehicles and the fleet segment and PVs, Chandra said.
He noted that when the company started its EV business, it hired an offline arrangement of fitting EV powertrains which used to lead to capacity issues.
The company also has a very comprehensive plan based on the volume projections, to add new lines in the area of battery packs, driveline and power electronics items, he stated.