Tata Motors reduced over 53,000 tonnes of Co2 in its operations | Autocar Professional

Tata Motors has reiterated its commitment to sustainability initiatives and is working across verticals to achieve its sustainability goals, as seen in the Investor Day 2024.  India’s largest commercial vehicle maker is working on three alternatives powered by  hydrogen as a path to net zero.

The three alternatives are hydrogen combustion through ICE, blended fuel engines with hydrogen and CNG and hydrogen fuel cell technology, according to a presentation made for Investor Day 2024.

Last year, the automaker delivered the first hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses to Indian Oil Corp Ltd. The oil marketing company is operating 15 fuel cell buses in the Delhi-NCR region.

According to the investor presentation, heavy trucks and buses for long haulage and intercity applications with high route predictability and high vehicle utilisation have a high potential for the use of hydrogen powertrains.

Focus on R&D 

Tata Motors Ltd. has amped up its research and development (R&D) spending by 45.1% to Rs 29,398 crore in the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) as compared to Rs 20,265 crore in FY23, according to the company’s annual report. This marks a significant increase from Rs 15,339 crore spent in FY22. 

At the company’s 79th Annual report, Shailesh Chandra, MD of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility business said that with the highest‑ever sales of 4.2 million vehicles, the PV industry recorded a growth of 8.6% over FY23. “This growth can be attributed almost entirely to the rising demand for greener powertrains as CNG vehicles and EVs sales grew 55% and 70% over FY23, respectively. Introducing several new nameplates during FY24 also contributed to the industry’s growth,” he added.

The surge in R&D expenditure reflects Tata Motors’ strategic focus on developing a future-proof product portfolio. The company is prioritising the expansion of its electric vehicle offerings, flex-fuel powertrains, fuel cell EVs, and hydrogen internal combustion engines (ICE). These efforts are accompanied by investments in infrastructure to support these new technologies.

The company presentation said that it has reduced more than 53,000 tonnes of Co2 in its operations, which is equivalent to 2.4 million trees in a year.

Multipronged approach to powertrains 

The company is also taking a multipronged approach to powertrains. CNG, for instance, is witnessing a rapid build-out of refuelling infrastructure, with the number of stations projected to jump from around 6,000 at present to over 10,000 by 2030. Tata Motors is ready to capitalise on this trend. LNG is another area of focus, with over 50 operational stations expected by the year-end. This growth is expected to continue, with more than 1,000 stations expected by 2027, and Tata Motors is ensuring its vehicles are compatible with this future fuel source.

The company is also making inroads into the green hydrogen space, leveraging its expertise in hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines.

For next-generation biofuels like ED-5, Tata Motors is working on figuring out key properties of the fuel and ensuring material compatibility in its vehicles.

In the ethanol segment, the company is setting its sights on the E20 and beyond, targeting to meet material and compliance requirements for flex-fuel vehicles by 2027.

Meanwhile, trials are underway with M15 methanol, another alternative fuel option.

With regards to biodiesel, while Tata Motors offers B30 blends in international markets, the company is awaiting a clearer picture on the regulatory front before offering it domestically.

Powering up PV sales 

The market leader in passenger vehicles is targeting 1.0-1.2 million sales by FY30, and eyeing an 18-20% market share.  The company has identified five key strategic pillars for TMPV (ICE business) and TPEM (EV business) – increase the addressable market by introducing new nameplates, strengthen its multi-powertrain strategy to leverage industry powertrain shifts, proactively grow the EV market in India and maintain market leadership, leverage technology to augment products in line with customer demands and finally enhance the profitability through scale benefits, improving mix, and optimisation of cost and capex. The presentation noted that the company has reduced more than a million tonnes of Co2 in the use phase of their vehicles, equivalent to millions of trees in a year.

Focus on circularity 

With regards to circularity, a ‘TATVA’ framework has been launched, which embeds circularity principles across the business, focusing on energy, materials, product lifetime and utilisation. Tata Motors is also bolstering its end-of-life vehicle management with the operationalisation of five vehicle scrappage facilities under the “Tata Re.Wi.Re” brand.  Tata Motors recently inaugurated its fifth Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF) near Delhi. The company has one vehicle scrapping unit each in Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Surat and Chandigarh.

Named ‘Re.Wi.Re – Recycle with Respect,’ the Delhi RVSF can disassemble 18,000 end-of-life vehicles annually. It has been developed in partnership with Johar Motors and can scrap both passenger vehicles (PVs) and commercial vehicles (CVs) of all brands.

Around 40% of Tata Motors’ electricity needs in India come from renewable sources. 

Girish Wagh, Executive Director, Tata Motors spoke of of the company’s progress in its sustainability journey across all three pillars of Aalingana – Net Zero, Circularity and Biodiversity, as part of its annual report.

“In line with our 2045 net zero goal and the science-based approach, we aligned the product strategy across all business lines to a decarbonisation trajectory and thus accelerated our efforts towards faster adoption of EVs, hydrogen-based vehicles and renewable energy. We received FAME and PLI certifications for Ace EV and 12m E-bus models, first in their respective category” Wagh had noted in the annual report.

As part of its plans to achieve net zero by 2045 for its commercial vehicles, and passenger vehicles target by 2040, its product plans are aligned with SBTi (Science-based Target Initiatives), and it also has an Aikyam platform for Suppliers and model ESG roadmap for Channel Partners. 

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