Tata Promises Indica Electric Model in next 14 Months

Wednesday 25 November 2009, 00:00 AM by Satish Kalepu

Tata Motors has announced that it will introduce electric variant of its hatchback model Tata Indica Vista by early 2011. In next 12-14 months, Indian auto market will see the electric model hitting the roads if there is enough demand in the domestic market. Currently, Tata Motors is developing its electric model for Danish, Norwegian and British market where there is existing infrastructure to support electric cars as well as a robust demand in the market.

Tata Promises Indica Electric Model in next 14 Months | CarTrade.com

Tata Motors intends to carry out a feasibility study before the car is actually launched in India. "Not at the moment. We will start (the feasibility study) closer to when we have the product ready. We will do it from next year," said Tata Motors Managing Director (India Operations) Prakash Telang when asked if Tata Motors has already undertaken the feasibility study. "We have to look into the cost equation in India. We have to see the market demand as it will be an expensive vehicle...Electricity is also not easily available in the country," he stated further.

India is an extremely price sensitive market and it also lacks infrastructural support to sustain electric cars. Electric models tend to cost at least 70-150 percent more than fossil fuel models depending upon the type of batteries installed. This means that Indian customers may not adopt electric model owing to its high price as well as high maintenance cost even if it deliver superb mileage as compared to cars run on petrol or diesel.

Apart from its electric model Tata Motors had also announced earlier to launch an “Air Car” that will run on compressed air car. It intended to produce the car in association with a French firm MDI. The project seems to be facing troubles due to its range problems. Since air is not a fuel but just a carrier, it fails to deliver similar range and cooling as a CNG model.