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Tata electric vehicle soon

Cheap electricity: India's Tata is set to produce an electric-powered sibling for its budget Nano.

Indian car giant Tata confirms it will produce an electric-powered car by September

9 Jun 2009

THE chairman of India’s largest conglomerate has confirmed via Twitter that Tata Motors will produce its first electric vehicle in just three months.

Tata Group chief Ratan Tata was quoted on his Twitter account at Cornell University, of which he is a trustee, as saying: “We will have an electric car in the market in September.” Tata Motors, which acquired British automotive icons Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford in March 2008 for $A2.33 billion, had previously said it was developing hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles, plus an electric vehicle (EV) dubbed the Indica Vista for Europe in 2010.

It was previously reported that Tata would launch its first EV in Norway, where EV recharging infrastructure already exists, but it is not known if the September release date refers to the Indian or Norwegian markets.

Meantime, according to a report by Automotive News last week, Tata’s Nano will be sold in the US within two and a half years, making Tata the second Indian car-maker to release a vehicle there. Atlanta-based company Global Vehicles USA Inc plans to import Mahindra pick-ups later this year.

Tata launched the sub-$2500 four-seat hatchback in India on March 23, with more than 200,000 orders received for the world’s most affordable car during a two-week booking period in April. First deliveries begin in July after a “lucky draw” to decide which orders would be filled first.

Europe is expected to receive a larger version of the Nano in 2011, powered by a more powerful version of the existing 3.1-metre, 580kg car’s rear-mounted 623cc twin-cylinder engine and costing less than about $A6000.

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