Thursday, July 7, 2022

Tata Safari Spied With Green No Plates – First Safari Electric SUV?

Tata Motors is the leading electric vehicle maker in India – They have plans to launch many new electric SUVs in the future

Tata Safari Electric Spied
Tata Safari Electric Spied

Tata Safari Electric! Already? Hold your horses. We know Tata Safari Electric is exciting news and it looks like a good proposition too. But not a lot is known about this mysterious vehicle that has been spotted somewhere in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It does look like a finished product, as good as any other Tata Safari bought from an authorized dealer. But we think that it isn’t the case at all.

After a bit of searching the number plate across multiple vehicle databases, it was revealed that it still showed as XZA+ variant with 2.0L Kryotec BS6 engine. But the number plate is green, which indicates that it is an EV. So why is a Tata Safari that is registered as a diesel on the RTO database, wearing a green no plate? Here are some explanations for this confusing spy shot of Tata Safari Electric.

Tata Safari Electric Spied

As we all know, Tata Safari only gets a 2.0L Kryotec diesel engine sourced from Stellantis (formerly, Fiat-Chrysler) that makes 168 bhp and 350 Nm. Tata Motors has been testing the Safari with a petrol engine too and on the test mule, you will see a red number plate. It’s because in India, every single test mule, EV or not, is given a red number plate.  

Only the finalised product that is sold for private use, get the usual number plates from RTO. White board with black font indicates a PV (passenger vehicle), yellow board with black font indicates LCV (light commercial vehicle) and HCV (heavy commercial vehicle). Whereas a black board with yellow font indicates self-driven rental vehicles. EVs get two different types of number plates where the board is green for both and if the vehicle has a white font, it is an electric PV and if the font is yellow, it is an electric CV.  

Tata Safari EV Spied with green no plate
Tata Safari EV Spied with green no plate

The Tata Safari electric spotted has a green board with white font indicating that it is an electric PV. But Tata never launched it. If you suspect that it is a prank of some sort or the owner is committing fraud, that does not seem to be the case as the number plate is a properly embossed number plate with non-removable bolts with RTO’s hologram too. It doesn’t look like a fake number plate at all.  

Tata Safari EV – What is it?

The car looks like it actually is an EV as registered by the RTO. But it is not a test mule undergoing testing by Tata as it doesn’t have a red number plate. This might be the work of a third-party that has developed an EV conversion kit for Safari. We don’t know the name of the company as of now. But developing an EV conversion kit is no mean feat.

Electronics and electricals are one of the most complicated aspects of vehicle development. The entire electric harness has to be custom-built with proper voltage architectures in mind. Then comes the hassle of battery placement, motor placement, mass centralisation, weight distribution, centre of gravity, interior packaging with the new battery in place, battery weather sealing, battery cooling solutions, battery management system tuning, modifications to brakes and suspension to accommodate the extra weight and a million more aspects. It is not an easy task of just taking out the engine and stuffing batteries in its place.

Tata Safari Electric Spied - New Safari EV
Tata Safari Electric Spied – New Safari EV

We have seen EV conversion kits like this before too. Our bet is that Tata Safari Electric conversion kit is being developed by someone, with good resources to back them up. The car in question seems to be a piece of demonstration for investors, bankers or even Government officials. This company seems like they first bought a Tata Safari XZA+ and then converted it into an EV and then got it re-registered as an EV from RTO. If that is the case, Tata Safari Electric range could be somewhere in between 300-500 kms. Whatever it is, it looks promising. If you happen to have more details, please get in touch.

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