Tata Motors European Technical Centre plc (TMETC), a Tata Motors' UK subsidiary, has bought a 50.3% stake in Norway based Milj Grenland/Innovasjon, for Rs 9.40 crore (Kroner 12 million).
Milj will launch its first electric vehicle – Indica EV in European markets in 2009 and a year later in India, to be followed by other similar offerings, besides manufacturing of state-of-the-art super polymer lithium ion batteries and the development of related technologies.
Toronto based Electrovaya will be the technology partner, which will receive equity in Miljo, a technology license fee and a royalty based on the value of its proprietary Lithium Ion SuperPolymer batteries to be used in the electric cars.
Milj Grenland is the front runner in the European electric car market with ongoing research and development in new zero emission technologies and is partly owned by regional utility company Skagerak Energi and the $25-billion energy and integrated aluminium company, Norsk Hydro, with whom the Tatas were reported to have been mulling a new facility to develop light-body chasis in India a few years back
Unlike existing electric vehicles, Indica EV will be a more practicable option for the consumer: capable of carrying 4 people, adequate luggage space, with a predicted range of up to 200 km and acceleration of 0-60 kmph in under 10 seconds, reports the press release.
In August, the Hamburg-based Auto Bild newspaper had reported that Tata Motors was planning an electric-drive version of the Nano called The E-Nano, to be built in cooperation with the Norwegian electric car specialist firm Miljoebil Grenland.
Electrial Car Market
Bangalore-based Reva Electric Car Company has been manufacturing a 2-door, 4-seater electric cars for seven years. These cars can cover upto 80km on a single charge. Mahindra & Mahindra is also working on a four-seater electric car that will be bigger than the Reva and plans to bring it on Indian roads by 2010. Currently, M&M has an electric three-wheeler called Bijlee, and is working on an electric version on its three-wheeler Alfa.
Globally, Nissan, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Fuji Heavy Industries and Toyota are also in the race for developing electric cars.