• Apr 7th 2011 at 5:51PM
  • 15
In late March, the Tata Indica Vista EV officially started rolling down the assembly lines in the UK. Before that, Michael and Angela Boxwell, owners of a MG ZS, Nissan Cube and a Reva G-Wiz electric car and members of the UK's CABLED trial, headed off to Tata's factory in Coventry to grab a pre-production Indica Vista EV. Angela Boxwell says that the electrified Tata will replace the MG ZS and she, along with her husband, will share their Indica Vista experiences with the entire world via the Owning an Electric Car blog.

The Boxwells are a family of four whose day-to-day routine includes several short journeys. On average, the Boxwells rack up only 22 miles of driving per day and plan to put the electrified Tata to the test by using it for all of their daily journeys for an entire year, only reverting to the gasoline-fueled Nissan Cube for family vacations.

So far, the Boxwells have posted a review of their first week behind the wheel of the electrified Vista, which you can read by clicking here. Though impressed with the vehicle, the couple plans to conduct some tests to see if the Indica Vista lives up to its claimed 110 miles of range. To follow the Boxwells as they trial Tata's electrified hatchback for the next twelve months, click here. Hat tip to Manix!

[Source: Owning Electric Car]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The only disappointment I can see is the lack of power steering for a town car.
      We don't know the sale price yet, and won't until nearer release in 2012, but they are doing the restricted area lease for only £190pm!
      http://cabled.org.uk/car/tata-indica-vista-ev

      For comparison from the same scheme the Smart is £250pm plus deposit of £750
      The iMiEV is £350pm

      For that difference, who cares about power steering? ;-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Power steering is over-rated. It does give a nice degree of feeling, and certainly can be helpful in extremely low-speed situations, but for a small car such as this it's no big loss.

        /learned to drive on a Ford F-100 w/o power steering - if my scrawny arms could do it in that hunk of steel, anyone could
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like the fact that they have low lease price.

        The lack of power steering is quite concerning, though. It not like the car weighs less than 1000 Kgs, where one could manage without getting to tired. The worst part is that most cars already have electric power steering even in Gas cars. My guess is that Tata does not have an electric power steering yet(they dont have it in India) and they might add one at much later stage. It should not add too much to the cost of the car, considering that it already has a high voltage infrastructure.

        The big advantage Tata has is the already existing large customer base for the Indica, which sells from about $6000 for a diesel variant(in India).

        The car itself should satisfy a lot of people who do not want Leaf like speeds, but like to settle for a little less.
        • 4 Years Ago
        BTW, insurance is included in the lease price!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not putting in power steering may be partly to save power - there is no air con either.
        I like the things Tata is doing - they are interested in the wonderful Lotus range extender for their bigger cars like Jaguar's and Range Rovers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the model I've long considered likely to become one of the best-selling electric cars. Power steering is not important to me or my partner - we both drive cars without power steering. I appreciate its use for some smaller drivers and drivers of heavy vehicles - but it isn't essential.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here is a pre-cap of blogging about driving an electric car for a year.

      "Day 1: unplugged. Drove everywhere I would normally drive in a day. plugged it back in.
      Day 2: unplugged. Drove everywhere I would normally drive in a day. plugged it back in.
      Day 3: unplugged. Drove everywhere I would normally drive in a day. plugged it back in.
      .
      .
      .
      Day 150: unplugged. Drove everywhere I would normally drive in a day. plugged it back in.
      Day 151: Went on vacation. Took a different car. left EV plugged in.
      Day 162: Back from vacation. unplugged. Drove everywhere I would normally drive in a day. plugged it back in.
      .
      .
      .
      Day 365: unplugged. Drove everywhere I would normally drive in a day. plugged it back in."

      Everything else to "test the range" and etc is just cinema.

      PS -- the car looks pretty nice for the price. Very solid "appliance" transportation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Awesome pre-cap, and it shows how divorced car reviews are from mundane reality. "Wahoo, the car company gave us the '6000 SUX' to review, so we drove the hell out of it over 900 miles of city streets, freeways, backroads, dry streambeds, and snow-filled mountain passes to give you our driving impressions." That's great, but it's not real life for most drivers, so the fact that EVs fail at it isn't particularly relevant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I would certainly hope so, anyway. If you had read the article, you would know that their being a beta tester for an iMIEV resulted in 4 breakdowns in 6 months.

        Of course, that's a pre-production model that you'd expect to be a bit less reliable than the end product, but still. Having seen the iMIEV in person, I can definitely tell you that Mitsubishi seems to have gone the route of "cheapest possible electric Kei car" while Nissan has gone the route of "You're paying $35k for this car anyway, so we'll throw in some higher-end features as standard while we're at it".

        It seems Tata has gone the same route as Mitsubishi (with no power steering and no AC, just to name the glaringly obvious ones), but I expect that of Tata. Not so much of Mitsubishi.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ok Tata moved relatively quickly. they should give one to Bobby Llewy so we can get some video.
      Tata could be an interesting force for pushing prices down although their initial pricing is a fail. we can hope they are only trying to milk the early market as long as Leaf supplies are scarce so we can see much more reasonable prices soon. Tata pulled off a 2500$ car. they should be able to do an EV at a good price.
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Tata is not a bad looking little EV. I say that because so many EVs look like they should be in a cartoon. That little car is only worth $12 to $15K to most people, but EVs right now are overpriced. That's the way computers were. Now great computers are very inexpensive. I expect EVs to follow along the same path. Tata is impressive.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        That makes sense. Here diesel is $4-$5/gal/US in northern California, and gasoline (Petrol) is $4 to $4.50. Things here are also much farther apart, so it's mostly mountainous highway driving. It's very rural. If I were in an urban setting the EV would be a good solution. We frequently visit our children in Bakersfield which is over 600 miles one way (and still in California), and travel 90 miles one way to shop. It's very sparsely populated. EVs aren't yet practical for us because of the range, but I am an EV supporter for urban dwellers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Petrol here is around £1.33 litre, that's about $7 US gallon or so.
        You might save around £1200 a year putting in electric instead of petrol, so that has to be worth a premium of maybe £5-7k
        It's easier to calculate using Renault's system, which is to charge around the same as a diesel car for the car, then a fee per month for the battery.
        In the UK that should work out if you offset it against petrol that you are better off if you do more than 6k per year or so.

        The Tata has to be worth a pretty large premium on a combustion engine car due to low fuel cost, whatever the precise figure with the battery included.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wasn't expecting to become front page news on Autoblog Green with this article!

      It is interesting to see everyone's thoughts about the power steering. It is the biggest failing in the car, but you only really notice it at speeds of below 2mph. Above that and the steering is actually very nicely weighted and gives a lot of 'feel' back to the driver. I must admit, I too would like power steering, but I can live without it.

      I'll be writing up my full impressions on the car later, but I have to say that overall, I'm impressed with it. It will be interesting to see how it is marketed and sold in Europe. Right now, we don't know what the list price is going to be, but I'm hopeful that it will be competitive.

      As for the Mitsubishi, yes, we had some teething problems with it, but actually, most of the teething problems turned out to be down to the tracking device they put in the pre-launch cars, rather than the car itself. Think it is time I updated that particular article to make that a little clearer...

      I've since driven the 2011 model year Mitsubishi i MiEV, and that is a very much better car. I had one for a week. In many ways, it runs the Nissan LEAF a close race and I would expect the slightly wider North American version that is being launched later this year to be better still.
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