If you’re in the market for an electric car there are currently very few highway capable vehicles available.
But for those in the U.K. another option will soon be on the market courtesy of an Indian firm which aims to make its electric cars the market leaders.
Tata Motors, unfortunately famous for its spontaneously combusting Nano mini cars, has just started U.K. production of the Indica Vista EV, a $41,000, 4 seat family hatchback which it hopes will give the 2011 Nissan Leaf some serious competition.
U.K. Only at Present
The Indian automaker, which owns the iconic Jaguar and LandRover brands, has no plans to bring the Nano Indica EV to the U.S.
Although the car could be a direct competitor for the 2012 Mitsubishi i, the firm currently seems to be targeting the European market first, despite its participation in the Progressive Automotive Insurance X-Prize.
Not Quite Ready Yet?
Although the European arm of the world’s 18th largest automaker has officially entered production and a small test fleet are now taking part in a test-lease scheme in the area around its Coventry factory, very few people outside of the company have been given chance to drive the car yet.
Sources close to the firm say this is to prevent over-zealous journalists from giving the nearly-finished prototype bad press. Those who have sat behind the wheel of the Indica Vista EV report a car which has feels much more substantial that the similarly-priced 2011 Mitsubishi i-Miev currently on sale in Europe.
Marginal Top Speed
Those interested in buying the Indica Vista EV may be disappointed however by its limited top speed. Electronically limited to just 71 miles per hour, it is capable of just 1 mph more than the national U.K. legal limit for freeways.
Range is more than the 2011 Chevrolet Volt at 99 miles, but around the same as the 2011 Nissan Leaf, leaving U.K. buyers with a choice between the better known Japanese car or the lesser known and more expensive Indian one.
Will it catch on? We can’t say yet as we have yet to drive it .
But without a U.S. rollout planned, we don’t think it’s a car to get excited about yet.