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Tata Indica Vista EV (2011): first official pictures

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 00:00:00 -0800

Tata’s new Indica Vista EV will be built in the UK, and these are the first official pictures of Tata's new electric car.

The Vista EV (electric vehicle) will be fully launched in summer 2012. But, between now and the end of March 2011, the company will supply 25 Vista EVs for folk working in and around the West Midlands as part of a 12-month trial.

After the trial, which is part of the Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrator (CABLED) Programme, Tata will then sell the Vista EV to fleet customers in early summer 2011 in the UK and other selected European markets

The electric car’s 60kW motor is capable of 71mph, and the battery is good for 110 miles, says Tata. If you think the Vista EV looks like a modernised Rover CityRover, that’s because Rover’s supermini was based on the Tata Indica.

The Vista EV is being developed and assembled at the International Automotive Research Centre at the University of Warwick Campus, Coventry, which has 230 employees. The battery comes from Swedish manufacturer Miljobil Grenalnd, the drivetrain from Canadian electrical systems company TM4, and the rest of the kit comes from India.

The price will be announced nearer the Vista EV’s summer 2012 launch date, but expect it to compete with its electric brethren, taking into account the Government’s Plug-In Car Grant worth £5000. For comparison, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Nissan Leaf will both cost £23,990.

Quite pricey for a Tata, then. 

Yes, but only the first wave of funding. The government has set aside a pot worth £300m for the scheme, with £43m being available until March 2012. The first wave is there to stimulate demand. A spokesman for the SMMT said the scheme will be reviewed in January 2012 and the next step will depend on the scheme’s uptake and success, as well as what new vehicles are on the market.

It’s likely that if demand goes up, the £5000 discount will go down to eke out the funding further. But if that happens, then the higher demand could end up lowering manufacturing costs anyway.

By Peter Adams