photo of the gas-driven Indica by vm2827 @ flickr
At Tata Motors' annual general meeting this week chairman Ratan Tata told shareholders about an electric car partnership project with Norway, with the car to launch in Norway within the next 12 months, according to Swedish weekly Ny Teknik, and India afterward. Calcutta Telegraph said Tata will use its Indica platform for the development of its electric car, not the no-frills, $2,500 Nano, which is scheduled to start rolling off production lines in September. Tata is currently working on five prototypes of electric vehicles, the Telegraph said, with lithium-ion batteries and an approximate range of 200 kilometers. Indica is a full-size highway-ready car, but Tata hasn't said whether the Indica-based EV will also be full-sized or an NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle), or given price signals.
Scandinavia cornering electric vehicle market?
Tata's electric car is supposed to be initially assembled in Norway, which seems a bit strange given the country's high wages compared to India. On the other hand, with THINK and the Kewet Buddy under production and Miljøbil Gronland working to continually beef up the infrastructure of fast recharging stations, Norway has some accumulated EV competence.
Reva electric car's strong sales
Tata earlier partnered with Chrysler's electric vehicle unit Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) to develop and market an electric version of its light commercial vehicle Ace for sale in the United States, according to Germany's Spiegel Magazine. Spiegel also said India's electric car maker Reva has sold 2,500 units, including 1,000 in the UK, and is hiking capacity to 30,000 units by December from 6,000 now.
Tata's mystery electric car partner
THINK thus far gave no indication that it was Tata's EV partner, nor did Kewet, according to Ny Teknik. But Miljøbil Gronland, though refusing to give any details, did say it "has a project with India" according to Ny Teknik. Owned by government-owned Norsk Hydro, Miljøbil Gronland has a fleet of different EVs and hybrids that it leases to Norwegian consumers. Via ::Ny Teknik (Swedish)
Read more about Tata's possible competition:
Affordable Electric Cars Beating Major Manufacturers To Market
17 Electric Cars You Must Know About
Robot-Assisted Pivo Electric Car To Debut In 2011?
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car To Go Global