Electric Tata Indica likely by 2011

Electric Tata Indica likely by 2011

New Delhi: Tata Motors on Tuesday said it could launch an electric version of its flagship passenger car Indica in the domestic market simultaneously with its European launch, in early 2011.

The company will start a feasibility study by next year for introducing the product in the domestic market.

“It (the electric Indica) will be available for launching in the country simultaneously with the global launch," Tata Motors managing director (India operation) Prakash M. Telang told reporters.

When asked if the company has initiated the market study, he said, “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."

The country’s largest auto company has been developing the electric Indica with a Norwegian firm for launching in the British, Norwegian and Danish markets by 2011, which will mark the global launch of the car.

Its domestic introduction would depend on the cost factor as it is a price-sensitive market, Telang added.

“We have to look into the cost equation here. We have to see the market demand as it will be an expensive vehicle. Electricity is also not easily available in the country," Telang said, adding electric vehicles are generally 70-150% more expensive on current status depending on the choice of batteries.

He, however, added, “The car will certainly be suitable for Indian roads."

Asked about Tata Motors’ sales prospects for the fiscal, Telang said, “We expect good sales in the fourth quarter specially on the back of pre-buying of commercial vehicles due to the soon-to-be-launched BS-III and IV emission norms."

On the Nano he said, the company is currently producing 3,000-4,000 units a month and will be starting trial production at the Sanand plant by the fourth quarter of this fiscal. “After that we will ramp up to full-scale production by the end of 2010," Telang added.