When the Tata Nano was revealed as the cheapest car in the world, back in 2008, it cost 100,000 rupees, equivalent to US$ 1,500. Its plant, able to produce 250,000 a year, but has only reached a production close to that in 2014, 6 years after its introduction. Tata needs to make it more popular. And one of the ways to do so is making it an EV. Probably the cheapest EV of the world, as Rushlane and Team-BHP have managed to photograph. The Team-BHP pictures clearly shows the recharging plug, placed in the left rear side of the car, where the petrol engine normally goes.
The Tata Nano is 3.10 m long, 1.50 m wide, 1.65 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.23 m. It was originally powered by a 0.6 2-cylinder engine that delivered 28 kW at 5,500 rpm and 51 Nm at 3,000. It weighed only 600 kg. Later, the car was expected to get a diesel engine that never showed up, probably due to the NEMMP 2020 (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan). India aims to have a fleet of electric vehicles. In a market where most car sales (70%) are of automobiles below 800,000 rupees, or US$ 12,000, the new Nano EV would be the perfect fit.
A concept may have anticipated the specs
There is no word on power or weight so far, but the prototypes were said to be much lower than a regular Nano, an indication of the weight of the batteries. And the company has already presented an electric Nano concept, at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Check these images made by Autoblog.nl.
We have also managed to find a very interesting picture in a forum: one of the technical specifications of the Nano EV. Check it out.
It had lithium-ion batteries and a range of up to 150 km. Its batteries weighed 120 kg and it was way more interesting than the regular Nano, with a 40 kW engine, 115 Nm, a top speed of 110 km/h (105 km/h for the petrol model). With much lower operating costs.
Maybe the Tata Nano was aimed to be an electric car from the start. We just hope the final model has more than the front airbags to offer in terms of safety. In the only crash test it has been submitted to, it earned no stars and was not able to cope even with UN standards. And they are the minimum of the minimum.