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Tata Motors set to launch electric Indica, Ace in Europe

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No decision yet on domestic roll-out.

Mr Ravi Kant, Vice Chairman, Tata Motors
Mr Ravi Kant, Vice Chairman, Tata Motors

“Infrastructure support, primarily the network of charging stations, is practically absent in India. We cannot have electric vehicles without Government support…” says Mr Ravi Pisharody.

Manu P. Toms

Mumbai, Aug. 11

Tata Motors will launch its electric Indica and Ace EV in Europe this fiscal. Mr Ravi Kant, Vice-Chairman, told Business Line that the company would begin retailing electric vehicles in the UK and Scandinavian nations. Indications are that the Indica Vista is likely to be launched in the UK this September-October.

The electric versions of this car and the Ace pick-up are at advanced stage of development. Tata Motors had displayed the Vista EV at the Geneva Motor Show in 2009 and the Ace EV at Zaragosa in 2008.

The company is keen on an UK launch as the Government is promoting electric vehicles under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Grant Programme.

Electric vehicle projects

Tata Motors European Technical Centre had received a £10-million loan to develop the Indica Vista EV in the UK. The company has invested £25 million (Rs 180 crore) in the project.

The electric vehicle projects have key inputs from the Norway-based Miljo Grenland in which Tata Motors has a 72 per cent stake. Norway, Denmark and Sweden are inclined towards electric vehicles where infrastructure is already in place.

Though the electric Nano was on display this year at Geneva, no plans have been firmed up yet for a launch which could happen in the next three years.

The company is also watching the domestic market though no decision has been taken. “Infrastructure support, primarily the network of charging stations, is practically absent in India. We cannot have electric vehicles without Government support, especially for setting up stations,” said Mr Ravi Pisharody, President, Commercial Vehicles.

Tata Motors has chalked out a hybrid programme for its luxury brands, Jaguar and Land Rover. Jaguar has developed the Limo Green concept, a hybrid XJ, a gasoline-electric hybrid equipped with a 145 kW, 295 full-load motor torque electric motor, and a 1.2-litre petrol engine.

Another research project, Range-e has developed a plug-in parallel diesel hybrid system that will help a premium SUV run as a pure electric vehicle minimising emissions.

manu@thehindu.co.in

Related Stories:
Tata Motors to expand Ace capacity
Tata's Ace sales cross 1-lakh mark
Nano electric vehicle goes to Geneva show
Tata Motors, M&M, Reva eye electric compact truck segment

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 12, 2010)
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