Image courtesy of arulnathan via flickr
Officially unveiled only a month ago to deafening praise, the Tata Nano, or "one lakh car," is already in danger of being overtaken by a new Indian Challenger - Bengal Enamel's Tara Tiny. Priced at just a fraction of a dollar less than the Nano - 99,999 rupees vs. 100,000 rupees (roughly $2,500) - the Tara Tiny, unlike its rival, will be a battery-powered EV; the four-seater will have a range of 62 miles (100 km) and a top speed of 43 mph (70 km).Aucma, a Chinese firm that specializes in the manufacturing of EV components, has formed a $1.5 billion partnership agreement with Tara to build 60-70% of the Tiny's parts - the rest will be built domestically. The Tiny is expected to be rolled out within the next 4-5 months; the company also plans on unveiling three other EV labels - Tara Titu, Tara Micro and Tara Mini. The price tags of these other models is estimated to range between 99,999 rupees and 5.5 lakhs.
Also in the pipeline: battery-powered two-wheelers and three-wheeler-like auto rickshaws. As for the Nano, there are currently no plans to bring the vehicle stateside or to the EU; however, as we've reported on before, Tata - in collaboration with Chrysler - has recently announced plans to bring an electric version of its Ace mini-truck to the U.S. by the end of 2008.