Tata Motors soars 20 percent on news of fund raise for EVs

The Jaguar Land Rover owner has raised $1bn for its EV business for which it will form a separate unit.

Tata Motors will invest more than $2bn in its electric vehicle (EV) business over the next five years, a company executive has said after the Indian automaker announced raising funds from private equity firm TPG.

TPG’s Rise Climate Fund and Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ have agreed to invest about $1bn to expand the company’s EV business for which it would form a separate unit, Tata Motors said in an exchange filing on Tuesday.

TPG and ADQ would hold between 11 percent and 15 percent in the new EV entity, valuing it at about $9.1bn, Tata said. The unit will invest in new models, dedicated battery electric vehicle platforms, charging infrastructure and battery technologies.

“The aim is to lead the EV charge in the market,” Shailesh Chandra, head of Tata Motors’ passenger vehicles business told reporters, adding that to achieve its goals the company will work with investors who are focussed on a “carbon-free world”.

Shares in the Indian automaker, which owns British luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover, rose nearly 20 percent in Wednesday morning trade to its highest level since February 2017.

Clean mobility push

This is the first significant 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.

It also comes as the world’s biggest electric carmaker Tesla Inc is preparing to launch its cars in India and has been lobbying the government to lower import duties on EVs.

Investments in EVs globally by 2025 could total $330bn, consulting firm AlixPartners said in June, adding that it expects EV sales to increase to about a quarter of total global vehicle sales by 2030 from about 2 percent today.

India intends for EVs to make up 30 percent of total car sales by 2030 from less than 1 percent at present. To achieve its target the government has launched several incentive schemes, including one for setting up local battery manufacturing.

Tata Motors dominates sales in India’s nascent EV market with its electric SUV Nexon and Tigor compact EV, and plans to launch 10 new electric models by 2025. Several carmakers including Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest, have yet to enter the space.

N Chandrasekaran, chairman of the salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group, said in July Tata Motors has “aggressive” growth plans for its EV business and expects a quarter of its sales to come from battery cars in future, up from just 2 percent now.

Tata also has the advantage of working with other group companies such as Tata Power, Tata Chemicals and Tata Autocomp to create an ecosystem for EVs, Chandra said.

JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley advised Tata Motors while Bank of America advised TPG.

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