Indian automaker readies UK EV launch

Indian automaker Tata, the manufacturer of the world's cheapest car, confirmed December 15 that it expects its first electric vehicle to be on the road by the end of this month.

It plans to make a limited number of its Tata Vista EV vehicles available in the UK's West Midlands region over the coming months, as part of a demonstration program in Coventry and Birmingham.

A total of 25 Vista EV vehicles will be provided by the end of March 2011, similar to the trials underway in other parts of the country by automakers such as Ford, Smart and MINI.

The market launch of the Tata Motors Vista EV is scheduled for early summer 2011 in the UK and mainland Europe, although it will initially be aimed at commercial customers ahead of a "comprehensive" launch in 2012.

The all-electric four-seater offers a range of 110 miles and a top speed of 71 mph, similar specifications to the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, also set to hit European roads before long.

Pricing has not been confirmed, although the car will be eligible for a Plug-In Car Grant, a subsidy from the British government that will reduce its price by up to £5000.

Tata caused considerable buzz at this year's Geneva Motor Show when it showed off an all-electric concept version of its Nano, the tiny compact billed as the world's cheapest car.

It's thought that the Nano will be added to Tata's EV lineup after the market launch of the Vista EV, to compete with smaller electric vehicles such as the Smart Fortwo Electric or the tiny Wheego LiFe.

http://www.tatamotors.com

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