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Tata start building Vista EV in Coventry

Tata start building Vista EV in Coventry

Indian automotive giant Tata Motors, have begun manufacturing plug-in battery electric vehicles in Coventry, UK.

23 additional employees have been recruited by the company, who also own Jaguar Land Rover, to help assemble a batch of 1,500 Indica Vista supermini models.

The Vista EV is the final production version of the Vista EVX prototype, which was first seen in action at the 2010 RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge where it successfully bagged two trophies.

The Vista EV is a 4 seater capable of covering 120 miles on a full charge with a potential top speed of 71 mph. It can also manage 0-60 kph in less than 10 seconds. These characteristics make it suitable for both city driving as well as commuting and motorway usage.

The Coventry plant is essentially a location for assembly procedures – part-built vehicles arrive from India and then the batteries, transmission and interior parts are added.

Steve Ocock, manufacturing general manager told the BBC, "We are committed to this new technology... Everyone is looking at this [electric vehicle technology] and, as the volume of vehicles grow, they will become more cost-effective."

Ocock also said that the company will be looking to hire more staff as production increase. The last few years have been tough for automotive manufacturing in Coventry, a city once regarded as the home of the UK car industry. Tata's announcement of electric vehicle assembly there is certainly good news for the region.

Exact on-the-road costs are not yet confirmed, but it is thought to initially be sold for between £25,000 and £30,000. Being fully electric, it will however be eligible for the Government's £5,000 Plug-In Car Grant, which will bring the actual purchase cost to a more reasonable level.

Some of the first completed units will be delivered to selected customers that are employed at the assembly plant in Coventry – this will be for trial and evaluation purposes within the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) sponsored CABLED programme.

The remaining vehicles will go on sale to the general public at the beginning of 2012.


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