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Electric Beat: GM tries again...

autos Updated: Jun 23, 2011 22:57 IST
HT Correspondent

After its botched attempt at launching India's first four door electric car, the eSpark last year, General Motors on Thursday showcased an indigenously developed electric version of its small car Beat. Unlike the Spark however, this car is not likely to hit the roads any time soon.

GM had tied up with Reva Car company in 2009 and developed the eSpark using their battery technology, but Reva's acquisition by Mahindra and Mahindra last year meant the car could not be released.

"This car demonstrates our techonological prowess and reaffirms our commitment to the environment," said Karl Slym, president and managing director, GM India while showcasing the electric Beat. "We have no plans of launching this car in the market yet but we are delighted that Chevrolet selected India as an important market to test the battery electric technology, while recognising our capabilities to help identify ways to make this technology more affordable."

GM has also shelved plans to launch a car smaller than its entry-level Spark, that would have competed with the likes of Tata Nano and Maruti 800, in India. Slym said that though the firm had worked on the plan in right earnest, the project had turned out unviable. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/230611/24_06_11-buss-21c.jpg

"We did have a plan, but no longer now," Slym said. "We have shelved the plans to get into that segment as it became unviable. All our future models would be positioned above (the Spark)."

The Spark, GM's best selling model in India, is powered by a 1-litre petrol engine and is priced between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4.3 lakh.

Next up, next month, will be a diesel variant of the Beat, with a 1-litre engine, which GM believes would help it log a growth rate twice that of the industry. "We required this version because in this segment, 80% sales are diesel and 20% petrol," Slym said.