Tata Tempo is set to debut in Europe with an electric version that seeks to offer a green future to small businesses. The launch of the Ace EV, set for December, will also mark the first time a commercial vehicle made by an Indian company hits the roads in Britain.
“It’s extremely satisfying to be able to introduce a significant new product, without apologies and at the forefront of technologies — there are no negative elements about this brand,” Omar Hadded, head of commercial operations and market, Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) told Hindustan Times.
To begin with the Ace, it will be sold “in the hundreds.” The first customers are expected to include the local city council in Birmingham, close to where the TMTEC is located, and part of the Midlands region that is searching for green transport solutions.
“The Ace has a very positive image in India – we don’t want to spoil it while testing the market in Europe,” said Hadded.
The launch model will have a half-tonne payload, top speed of 40 kmph with a range of 50 km, after which the batteries will have to be charged overnight. The vehicle is priced at £13-14,000 (R9.4-10 lakh).
The Ace will also test the European market for a second Tata Motors electric vehicle, the Indica Vista passenger car, which is expected to hit European roads in the first half of 2011, with British sales initially limited to fleet customers. In a clever reversal of the production chain, the parts will be manufactured in India and assembled in Britain.