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India’s Tata Motors Plans to Develop Hybrid Nano

Posted on March 10, 2009
Filed Under Future Speculation, Prototypes | Leave a Comment

tata-nanoTata Motors is working on a micro-hybrid version for the Nano that will increase the fuel efficiency of the world’s cheapest car further, while cutting down its emissions.

The company is in discussions with Bosch, the world’s biggest component supplier, for sourcing the technology that is already being used by Mahindra in India and other automakers abroad, industry sources said.

“We are looking at the start/stop technology as part of different options and technologies that would help reduce emissions and boost fuel efficiency,” a spokesperson for Tata Motors confirmed.

The start/stop system, developed by Bosch, has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around 8% in urban traffic. When the vehicle stops, say at a traffic signal, the engine gets automatically switched off after a couple of seconds. To switch on you just need to press the clutch pedal.

So while the start/stop system stops short of a full hybrid, it still cuts down fuel wastage while idling. It is expected that the start/stop system may cost an additional Rs 3000-4000 over Nano’s current price. Mahindra, that has decided to use the start/stop on certain variants of its Bolero utility vehicle and Scorpio SUV, has put an incremental cost of Rs 3800 for the technology.

“The micro-hybrid version will not come as part of the current version of Nano that is slated for launch this month. It is being envisaged as part of future development program for which talks are already on,” sources said.

And while the current versions of the start-stop system may not be fit for strapping on the Nano, sources said the technology can be re-engineered for any car. “The system will be re-engineered to suit the engine capacity and the low-cost status of the Nano. The system can be easily integrated in any vehicle because the components are no larger than traditional ones,” they added.

Bosch is manufacturing the start/stop system for Indian vehicles at Bangalore. Globally, it sells the start/stop system to various automakers, including BMW and Fiat. Apart from Mahindra, it is in discussion with other major car companies to sell the system. “Within 2009/2010 several companies will introduce start/stop vehicles with advanced Bosch technology,” the company has said.

SOURCE: Times of India

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