The Tata Nano Unveiled
No, they are not environmentalists burning the new Tata Nano in effigy, they are protesting the eviction of farmers to build the factory. But it has been launched and here is the poop on it from the BBC:
The four-door five-seater car, which goes on sale later this year, has a 33bhp, 624cc, engine at the rear. It has no air conditioning, no electric windows and no power steering, but two deluxe models will be on offer. Tata said the car had passed European emission standards and would average about 50 miles to the gallon, or five litres per hundred kilometres. It has a top speed of 43 MPH.
At the unveiling ceremony Mr Tata said: "I observed families riding on two-wheelers - the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. "It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family.
"Tata Motors' engineers and designers gave their all for about four years to realise this goal. "Today, we indeed have a People's Car, which is affordable and yet built to meet safety requirements and emission norms, to be fuel efficient and low on emissions."
Low emissions are great. But multiply them by millions and one has a problem. It is the eternal problem, Indians are as entitled to drive as we are in the developed world and who are we to criticize when we have our cars. Except our cars plus their cars will kill us all and if we won't give them up we have no right to complain. Henry Ford unleashed a revolution that changed our world and gave us mobility, but at what price. Now we get to watch the rerun. ::BBC
UPDATE: The New Scientist writes about the environmental effect of the Nano.
The Tata Nano will meet European emissions standards on exhaust. If you want to see details, check out the Euro IV line in this table. Bear in mind that exhaust emissions standards regulate the particles that make up smog, not emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (which the EU does not currently regulate, although it's trying).
The numbers come out in favour of the Tata Nano. Euro IV standards are more stringent than those in place for the motorcycles and scooters, which make up a big chunk of India's motorised traffic.