A cloud of unfriendly emissions has been looming over Delhi and NCR, a situation that got so grave that the city made headlines across the world over a severe rise in air pollution leading to health problems for many. The government has been rattled over coming up with solutions to curb pollution, which included restricting construction works and for some time the odd-even rule was also thought of being put in place again. However, the air quality still remains very unhealthy. Hence, the need of the hour is long terms plans that maintain clean air quality and not scrambling up temporary measures to bring pollutants down in winters, since winter fog traps these pollutants even further. Now though, taking a step forward electric Tata Nano is likely to become part of the city's major taxi fleet. Tata Nano Electric is likely to be introduced as a part of Ola Cabs fleet in Delhi by end of this month, however, the car will not be made completely by Tata Motors. We contacted Jayem Auto about the new electric car and have been told that it will be a product of Jayem Automotives and is likely to be called the Jayem Neo. Instead of launching an electric version of the Nano, Tata Motors will supply Nano body shells without the engine and transmission to Jayem Automotives, which will manufacture and market the EV. The Jayem Neo is expected to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.
Jayem Neo's powertrain will be sourced from Electra EV, a prominent brand in design development and supply of electric powertrains, battery packs and charging infrastructure. The Neo will be powered by a 48-Volt system and 17kW (23hp). While a standard Tata Nano weighs 636 kg, the electric Nano or Neo will weigh in at 800 kg, but 17kW of power is said to be powerful enough for it. It will have a claimed ARAI range of 200 km on one full charge and 140 km if it has four persons seated with air-conditioning on.
While initially, Jayem Neo will only be available for taxi fleets, eventually Jayem plans to launch a powerful version for personal users later. Previously, Tata Motors had announced a collaboration with Jayem Automotives in March to test performance cars.
While this announcement does sound like it's come rather a little abruptly, we did see an electric Tata Nano being tested in India a while back. Tata Motors had previously announced that it was keen on dropping that Nano from its product lineup owing to sales as low as 250 units a month. However, Tata Nano may receive a lease on life through Jayem Neo.
Electric Tata Nano was spotted on test in Coimbatore in September this year, confirming that is indeed close to reality. Sporting the same bodywork as the current Nano GenX, the only things that indicate that it was the electric Nano is the ‘4BNEV-A08’ sticker on the rear window and a visible lack of an exhaust. Also, Coimbatore is also home to Jayem Auto, which is a hotbed for Tata R&D.
However, Jayem Auto has tested various iterations of the Tata Nano in the past, including a diesel Nano (which didn’t work because it was too noisy) and a 1-litre petrol engine as well as a 600cc turbocharged unit, none of which were approved for production. This then points to a fact that until Tata officially announces that it will build the electric Nano, the spy shots are all the evidence we have.
Tata Motors has lately been getting serious about electrifying some of its models. The most recent one was the Tata Tiago EV concept, which has a claimed range of 100 km on one full charge and can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in about 11 seconds in sport mode and is capable of a top speed of 135 km/h. The Tata Tiago EV uses an 85 kW motor that churns out 200 Nm of torque. The EV is offered with front-wheel drive and like all electric vehicles will be driven through a single-speed gearbox. Along with the Tiago EV, an electric version of the Tigor is also on the cards.
Coming back to Tata Nano Electric, when launched it will take on the Mahindra e2o. According to an Autocar report, all-electric Nano will first only be launched for the taxi segment. So far, Ola Cabs and Bengaluru based taxi service use the Mahindra e2o as their electric option. It is expected that the Tata Nano EV will be superior to the e2o offering better performance.
Tata Nano Electric was first showcased at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and was said to have a super-polymer lithium battery, promising a range of 160 km/h on one full charge. Electric cars do not emit harmful pollutants, hence the electric Tata Nano does make part of the city's taxi fleet, it would be a small but positive step towards a cleaner environment.