Tata Motors eyes Europe with electric Indica

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 22 November 2007, 08:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Tata Motors is working on an electric version of the Indica for the foreign market and plans to launch it by 2009. Tata has roped in a foreign collaborator for the project and hopes to hit the environmentally conscious European market.

"We are working on converting Indica into an electric platform for the European market," said V G Gujrathi, Senior General Manager, Engineering Research Centre, Tata Motors.

Carmakers are betting on Europe for electric cars because climate change and environment sustainability are high on the European Union agenda. London has given tax exemption to hybrid vehicles. Countries like Norway, Sweden and France are shifting to battery-operated vehicles.

Meanwhile, for the Indian market Tata Motors would be launching a 'mild hybrid' of Indica in 2008. The company said that electric-run Indica would not suit the Indian condition, as the domestic market is yet to mature.

"The prototype of Indica hybrid is ready. But we are waiting for the technology to be made completely adaptable," added Gujrathi. The hybrid version would have an automatic turn off- on facility to off the engine when it is not needed and turn on again.

Besides the passenger car, Tata Motors is also working with a U.S. based company on electrification of its most popular light commercial vehicle, 'Ace', and hybrid buses for city transport. Japanese carmakers such as Honda and Toyota have also been mulling over the prospect of introducing their hybrid cars in India.

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