World’s Cheapest Car, The Tata Nano, Will Return As An EV

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Tata Motors created a global sensation in 2009 with the launch of Nano as the cheapest car, but the model could not live up to its expectations. Now, Tata Motors is planning to launch an electric version of the Nano car for exclusive use as a fleet car.

According to media reports, Tata Motors is planning to launch the Nano EV soon. Tata Motors, as well as another Indian company, Jayem Automotives, will manufacture the model. The hatchback will be available only as a fleet car, and Uber’s competitor Ola Cabs will procure these cars for use as taxis.

As per reports, Tata Motors will only supply empty Nano body shells to Jayem Automotives, which would then fit the electric power train and other equipment to the car’s body before rolling it out. The powertrain would be supplied by a third company, Electra EV.

The Nano EV is likely to have a 48V electric system and a range of 200 kilometers per charge. This is significantly more than the 130-kilometer range required in India’s first EV tender, but that was for a sedan. Tata Motors is required to deliver 350 electric sedans to the Indian government by the 30th of November, 2017. 

Ola will reportedly purchase 400 of these Nano EV and deploy them in the Indian capital city of Delhi by the end of 2017. The news comes just days after Tata’s competitor Mahindra & Mahindra announced a similar deal with Uber to launch the Mahindra e2o plus hatchback and eVerito sedan as taxis in Hyderabad and Delhi.

The Indian government’s push for electric mobility may present Tata Motors with a chance to undo the embarrassment that Nano has been. When launched in 2009, the company expected to sell a quarter of a million cars every year. Since its launch, less than 300,000 cars have been sold, up through October 2017.

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An avid follower of latest developments in the Indian renewable energy sector.

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