Imagine a 4-door electric subcompact car that holds four passengers comfortably, has a top speed of 65 mph (105 km/h) with a range of 100 miles (161 km) and would earn a U.S. mileage rating of 150 mpg (1.6 L/100 km).
Technologies, the engineering branch of the Indian conglomerate, not only imagined it but built a hatchback concept called the eMo that debuted at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit at the Michelin stand.
But don’t try to buy one. The eMo probably is too small to attract Americans in large numbers, despite its generous interior space and a clever second set of doors that allow a passenger “to get in and out properly,” says Kevin Fisher, president of theVehicle Program and Development unit.
The prototype, he explains, “is a very large business card to show our capabilities.”
The eMo, which stands for “electric mobility,” is just shy of 10 ft. (3 m) long, has no trunk and counts on a ninth airbag to protect rear-seat passengers in a rear-end collision. A large glass roof and big sidelights help make the vehicle appear larger for passengers.
The eMo rides on a wheelbase of 85 ins. (216 cm) and is 118 ins. (300 cm) long, 60 ins. (152 cm) wide and 62 ins. (157 cm) tall. It weighs 1,984 lbs. (900 kg).
A liquid-cooled, dual-motor, front-wheel drivetrain coupled with an air-cooled 18.4 kW lithium-ion battery powers the vehicle.
“This is a landmark event for the Indian engineering-services industry,” Warren Harris, chief operating officer, says of the eMo. “It is mature enough to make a major contribution to engineering in the world.”
Fisher estimates the car would retail for $20,000, based on the bill of materials, projected margins and warranty costs. He does not say what volume the estimate is based on.
Fisher has 300 engineers on his team at engineering centers in Pune, India; Stuttgart, Germany; Coventry, U.K.; and Detroit. He says Tata Technologies has worked on projects for other cars on display at the show, but declines to discuss them.
However, the company lists, , Tata and Jaguar Land Rover among its global customers.
The eMo has resulted in 15 patents for Tata Technologies, Fisher says. The project officially launched with his program group last April, although it has been under discussion since 2010 as the company sought to demonstrate its capability.