India Inc India Inc: Tuesday, 03 July 2012 11:48

Tata works with Dassault on cheap electric car

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tataTata Technologies has completed the first feasibility study of an electric vehicle using Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. The company is the Tata Group’s engineering services outsourcing and product development IT services arm.

It had showcased the electric mobility (eMO) concept at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show and is currently in partnership with the French company to build an electric car that will be priced under $20,000.

The main aim of this electric car will be to seat four adults in a compact form factor, with innovative packaging to maximise space on the interiors.

Dassault is one of the world’s leading 3D design software and product solutions firm and the Tata Group is behind the world’s cheapest car Nano.

In a statement, Tata Technologies confirmed the company is working with Dassault Systemes to leverage the talent of a global engineering team to meet numerous design and cost constraints, as well as create a targeted user experience and final vehicle price tag of under $20,000.

The timeline and investment costs for the project have not been revealed at this stage.

However, the development of the eMO is a global effort, requiring collaboration among over 300 Tata Technologies engineers from different regions, including India, the US and Europe.

Another Tata Group firm Tata Motors had announced that it was developing an electric version of its hatchback Indica with a Norwegian firm for a launch in the British, Norwegian and Danish markets by 2011, which is yet to take place.

At present, India has only one electric car model – Mahindra Reva – on which the government grants a 20 per cent cash subsidy on ex-factory prices. Toyota has also been selling its hybrid cars in India.

Adoption of electric cars in India will be driven by three factors – savings on running costs, given the sustained rise in fuel prices; lower load on the power grid; and emission reductions.

Also, maintenance costs are 20-25 per cent lower for an electric car than a comparable petrol car, due to the absence of more complex parts in the electric version.

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