Mr. Ratan Tata once dreamt of the world's cheapest car. His dream was fulfilled before he handed over the control of the company to his successor. The Tata Nano took the world by surprise by becoming the first car to be priced under USD 2500. The aim was to make a car for the average Indian middle class family who until now were dependent on their humble two-wheeler. The company faced numerous obstacles throughout the development of the car, but this did not deter the morale of the team.
Now, Tata Motors is up for a new challenge. The car maker is now developing an electric car with a target price that is set to be under Rs 10 lakh. The new car is being developed in conjunction with France’s Dassault Systemes. Currently, the project is in its infancy as they've just completed the first feasibility study. The R&D that will go into the project aims to produce a car that can seat four adults and yet manages to have a small footprint.
With the help of modern computer aided design softwares like CATIA and ENOVIA engineers from both Tata Motors and Dassault are currently busy developing an electric car that is to challenge products like Tesla and Mahindra-Reva in India. Tesla is currently offering the Tesla S sedan and Roadster models both of which are considerable expensive. The new Tata product will be priced under $20,000 taking the fight right up to the American company's doorstep.
In a statement, Tata Technologies President (Vehicle Programs and Development Group) Kevin Fisher said the company is working on with Dassault Systemes to “leverage the talents of a global engineering team to meet numerous design and cost constraints, as well as create the targeted user experience, including a final vehicle price tag of under $20,000.”
Although, the Indian market does not seem to be ready for an all-out electric car at the moment, we expect this scenario to change over a period of time. That said, the electric/ hybrid car market in America certainly seems to have quite of lot of potential which is what Tata Motors should be looking at.