Tata eMO proves you don't need a hatch on a hatchback

Let's dial back a bit on the blanket statement that the Tata eMO will never be built. Speaking with representatives of Tata Technologies at the Detroit Auto Show today, it's clear that should the stars align in just the right manner, we might see something somewhat like the eMO on the road. Someday.

Tata Technologies' Kevin Fisher, the president of vehicle programs and development, said that the eMO is basically a "giant business card" meant to show off the company's capabilities. There are 15 patent in process thanks to the eMO, for example, to say nothing of the clever use of interior space by eliminating a pillar between the doors as well as any sort of rear opening. The rear seats push up close against the rear window, a move that really does make the eMO capable of holding four adults in relative comfort. Three things to note: First, the minimalist interior saves space by doing things like including only one center armrest. Second, to open the rear doors from outside the car, you need to reach in and around to get at the handle on the inside. There is no outside handle. Three, the low, sloping roof line does present a head-bumping hazard when exiting the eMO. Trust us on this one. The unusual frame shape is strong, though, Fisher said, adding that the eMO passed North American crash standards in Tata's computerized tests.

Still, Fisher told AutoblogGreen, if an OEM or someone with Tata Motors comes to him and asks to build the eMO or to use some of the technology the engineers used to create an electric car that Tata says can get over 100 miles from its 18.4-kWh battery pack while keeping a $20,000 price tag, Tata would be more than willing to help put the car into production.

For more on the eMO, read our previous post on the car, check out the technical details and have a look at the photo gallery of this tiny and impressive bit of electric engineering.
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Tata Technologies Displays eMO EV in Detroit at NAIAS: First Full Vehicle by Indian Engineering Services Firm

DETROIT, January 9, 2012 – Tata Technologies, a leading global provider of engineering services and product development IT, was selected by Michelin to display its electric MObility (eMO) engineering study EV as part of the prestigious Michelin Challenge Design display at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, beginning January 9.

"The eMO project symbolizes the coming of age of Indian automotive engineering," said Warren Harris, Tata Technologies President and Global COO. "It is a tangible example of the capability of Tata Technologies to engineer a full vehicle – a first for any India-based engineering services company."

Harris noted that the unique strength of Tata Technologies is the organization's global reach. "Because we are India-based, Tata Technologies is intimately familiar with developing markets. Additionally, our experience and presence in Europe and North America means we also have an understanding of developed markets; a combination that provides a competitive advantage to our clients," he said.

Tata Technologies' Vehicle Programs & Development (VPD) Group, with more than 300 engineers operating from its four automotive engineering centers of excellence worldwide – Pune (India), Detroit, Coventry (UK), and Stuttgart (Germany) – had the responsibility of developing eMO.

Kevin Fisher, VPD President, explained the beginning of the eMO program. "In mid-2010, in anticipation of the April 2011 launch of VPD, we researched numerous concepts for an internal engineering study that would highlight both the Tata Technologies dedication to environmental responsibility and sustainability, and showcase our global experience, knowledge, capacity and innovation."

The Tata Technologies VPD Group used its unique multidimensional approach to vehicle engineering and development on eMO that leverages the company's intimate understanding of frugal engineering principles and its unique understanding of the demands of both developed and developing markets; utilizing its Global Delivery Model and proprietary Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) platforms to develop products faster and more cost effectively, Fisher added.

"As we have previously stated, this next decade will see an ever-increasing demand for more efficient and accelerated product development that also will need to incorporate more new technology than the auto industry has seen in 30 years," Fisher said. "We are positioned to set the pace in automotive product development and technological innovation."

The eMO architecture emphasizes "right size" personal urban transportation by minimizing its exterior footprint and maximizing interior space, including seating for four adults. Based upon research of city/urban usage, eMO has the flexibility – with rear seats articulated – to do double-duty as a personal cargo carrier, without the mass and cost of a dedicated trunk.

As a ground-up EV study, eMO also incorporates design advantages over an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle like smoother aerodynamic surfaces and shorter overhangs. With sustainability in mind, eMO benefits from a low carbon footprint and a recyclability strategy. To reduce the overall carbon footprint of the manufacturing, assembly and other associated processes, Tata Technologies eliminated the traditional body shop and paint process, and utilizes many green product materials in eMO.

The 2012 Michelin Challenge Design Theme, "City 2046: Art, Life and Ingenuity – Transforming Personal Mobility," challenged participants to design a personal, ground-based vehicle that can transport between two and 10 people, meeting the anticipated needs of select cities in 2046, when more options for public and private transport will be offered. Michelin challenged entrants to create a vehicle that can inspire, as well as transport. Design winners were invited to be an exhibitor in the Michelin Challenge Design at the 2012 NAIAS beginning January 9 and continuing through the public run of the show. "We are delighted to showcase our eMO concept alongside these innovative ideas," said Fisher.

To learn more about eMO, and Tata Technologies – the first Indian engineering services organization capable of delivering a full vehicle – visit

About Tata Technologies
Tata Technologies, founded in 1989, is a global leader in Engineering Services Outsourcing and Product Development IT services to the global manufacturing industry; enabling ambitious manufacturing companies to design and build better products.

Tata Technologies is a company of innovators, specialists in the design engineering space, who apply cutting-edge technology to provide a competitive advantage to customers in the manufacturing sector. The company is a strategic partner for developing complete vehicles (VPD group), engineering subsystems and components (E&D), managing the NPI process and collaborative engineering (PLM), and tying together information created and used throughout the extended manufacturing enterprise (ESG).

Tata Technologies is headquartered in Singapore, with regional headquarters offices in the United States (Novi, Michigan), India (Pune) and the UK (Coventry). The company has a combined global work force of more than 5,400 employees serving clients worldwide from facilities in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Why are you debuting eMO on the Michelin Challenge Design stand?
Michelin Challenge Design is dedicated to the celebration of design and exploring design solutions for safe and sustainable mobility issues in the future. As we discussed the Michelin Challenge Design program with them, our study bubbled to the surface. They kindly invited us to display the eMO in the 2012 Michelin Challenge exhibit at NAIAS, a venue focused on innovation and design.

Is eMO ready for production?
eMO is an internal engineering study, which would require some further development to go forward for production.

Are you Tata Motors?
We are Tata Technologies, a global engineering services provider, and one of numerous companies within the Tata Group. We do not manufacture vehicles.

Does Tata Technologies work for Tata Motors?
We are an engineering services provider, and have numerous global customers including Chrysler, Ford, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover; as well as Tier 1 automotive suppliers worldwide.

Will eMO be a Tata Motors-badged vehicle for North America?
This is a Tata Technologies engineering study, meant to showcase our Vehicle Programs and Development (VPD) Group capabilities from market study to manufacturing solutions.

Is this the Tata Nano for North America?
This is a Tata Technologies engineering study, meant to showcase our VPD Group capabilities from market study to manufacturing solutions.

Will eMO be a Jaguar or Land Rover?
This is a Tata Technologies engineering study, meant to showcase our VPD Group capabilities from market study to manufacturing solutions.

Is eMO going into production?
There are no plans for production of this engineering study. As part of the process, however, we engineered a manufacturing solution and completed an assembly plant study to support eMO.

What is eMO's MSRP?
eMO will not be produced and sold, but as a study, we targeted $20,000 (USD), before rebates.

Does eMO meet regulatory standards?
eMO is engineered and simulated to meet all current major global regulatory and non-regulatory standards, including current North American safety regulations. It can be modified to meet specific market regulations. Further validation through physical testing would be required.

What range does eMO have?
eMO has been engineered to 100 miles, knowing that performance may vary based on usage and driving conditions.

What is eMO's Cd?
CFD analysis supports the stated eMO range.

Was eMO engineered in North America?
Teams working in India and North America and Europe collaborated to develop eMO. This engineering study demonstrates our unique-to-the-industry Global Delivery Model.

Did you engineer the complete vehicle?
Yes. Tata Technologies teams in India, North America and Europe, using our unique Global Delivery Model, tapped the best global resources, including specialist suppliers and partners, to execute this engineering study.

Is eMO a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV)?
eMO is fully legal for operation on all roadways and would meet all major market federal safety requirements.

Is eMO innovative?
Yes. The eMO project has 15 patents in process.

Do you think there is a market for this vehicle in North America?
Absolutely – It is Tata Technologies' position that the next few years will bring clarity to the EV space and volumes. We believe the market exists for a vehicle demonstrating this intelligent, thoughtful combination of performance, function, eco-responsibility and price.

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