• Jun 13th 2011 at 2:57PM
  • 8
Though regularly overshadowed by vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, specs for the battery-powered Tata Indica Vista EV seem to indicate that it's a worthy competitor.

Let's look at those numbers: Tata says the vehicle will offer performance on par with other electric autos: a 0 to 60 miles per hour time of under ten seconds, the ability to go 125 or so miles on a full charge and a top speed of 71 mph. The Indica Vista EV is expected to have a MSRP that falls between £25,000 to £30,000 ($40,648 to $48,777 U.S. at the current exchange rate) and Tata says that it will build at least 1,500 of the electrified four-seaters.

Those numbers look good, but sometimes numbers mean next to nothing. Recently, Plugin Cars spent some time with Tata's electric hatch and walked away less than impressed. The reviewer called its looks "cheap and dated" and referred to the vehicle as a "no-thrill back-to-basic transportation tool." Okay, that's fine as long as the Indica Vista performs, right? Well, according to Plugin Cars, the electric Indica Vista lacks power, especially at takeoff, isn't entertaining to drive and offers little in the way of road feel through its steering wheel.

Luckily, the Indica Vista's saving grace may be its Leaf-beating stated range, delivered from a 31-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack. However, Plugin Cars says that the Nissan Leaf is vastly superior to the Indica Vista and that choosing the electric Tata over Nissan's battery-powered hatch only makes sense if it were, oh, let's say 30 percent cheaper.

[Source: Plugin Cars]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Japanese vs Indian? I think the Leaf has much better street cred, also has many more features. They would need to be selling this car (Tata) for about 25,000 dollars at the most!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have to agree, Mark. WITH tax break, it would bring it down to $17.5K, and at that price, quite a few of us would overlook acceleration issues and looks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      H E L L NO!
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      it's a large pack and iron phosphate which is more expensive, robust and long lived. they cost over 10k$ for the cells alone which makes it difficult to make it very cheap. I'd probably try a smaller pack. or have two options. with a few quick charge points then 100km range goes a long way. I'd also lose the big lead acid starter battery under the hood.. almost comical how consistently the automakers hold on to that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That is spec'd up SUV money. That will be impossible to sell in the US.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah, Tata will have a tough time competing with well-designed Japanese cars manufactured by heavily automated factories. That said, Nissan needs to continue improving . . . reduce the weight of the Leaf, increase the battery size a little bit, improve the Level-2 charge time, etc.
      • 4 Years Ago
      $48,000 for this, while the Leaf is much better AND cheaper?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't forget this is the car that won two class wins in the Brighton to London Future Car Challenge. Also note, that this car is getting it's getting a great electric engine from TM4, a Canadian company, and Electrovaya/Miljobil Grenland (Canada/Norway partnership) nanostructured lithium ion polymer battery (even though not sure if that is going into the first production models). Price can easily be adjusted, if released at a price, that results in poor sales. I think car quality wise, it will be a challenge matching Nissan, but overtime, they may very well achieve a price, 30 percent below Nissan, with some adjustments. Lowering the battery pack size from 31-kWh to 24-KWh could make a big difference.
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