Tata Technologies, the engineering and design subsidiary of Tata Motors, India's largest auto maker, has been selected by US-based Genovation Cars to design and build a prototype of an electric car for it.
The Maryland-based manufacturer of environmentally friendly cars is engaged in manufacturing and designing of battery-operated, custom-crafted cars for the US market, albeit on a very small scale.
Genovation presently sells the Ford Focus converted into a pure electric, and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which includes an electric genset powered by a fuel such as petrol, diesel or bio-diesel. This vehicle bears the project name G1.
The electric car to be developed by Tata Technologies will be under the umbrella name of G2 and involve substantial use of non-traditional substances to develop composite body panels, including use of bamboo, flax seed and other natural fibres.
The steel used for the tubular frame will be manufactured from recycled steel. Flame-resistant natural materials may be used in the composition of door panels, carpet, roof-liner, seat fabric and cushioning and sound-proofing.
The G2 model will incorporate Genovation's research and development that went into the G1 model, including the installation of electric motor, battery string, battery management system, safety system and HVAC, controller and instrumentation.
During the first phase of development, which will occur over a five-month period, Tata Technologies will provide two design iterations to include two-door and four-door versions, scale models, a detailed time-line, aerodynamic and crash analysis.
Tata Technologies, which will be the prime contractor, will sub-contract with Mexico-based Metalsa for the structural design and manufacturing ability analysis. It will also work with Dana Thermal Products for the cars' thermal operation for electric systems cooling and cabin climate control.
Tata Motors is also gearing up to launch the electric version of the Indica in the UK, Denmark and Norway markets next year, using super-polymer lithium ion batteries. This car will come to India in the next few years.