Mahindra appears to now have a rather different approach to EV design, based on its newest concept, the Reva Halo. Instead of aiming for a practical, perhaps simple-looking appearance, the Reva Halo is a sports car, and appears to be aimed at a certain sort of demographic — one that is quite different from the stereotype that comes to mind when one thinks of an EV buyer.
The new model was recently previewed at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo in New Delhi, India. The look of the car is certainly a surprise for those who are familiar with the other models offered by Reva — rather “ungainly” looking vehicles, to put it mildly. The company is clearly now looking at other approaches to design.
… the Halo is a compact sports car in the vein of cars like the Mazda Miata–simple, lightweight, and fun. Power is only modest, its 104-kilowatt maximum translating to 140 horsepower. That’s still enough to reach 62 mph in “under 8 seconds”, while top speed is 100 mph. Range on the largest battery pack is around 125 miles.
The styling is the aspect likely to garner most attention, though. According to Motor Authority, the company has consulted both Pininfarina and Bertone while drawing up the Halo, and the sleek, utterly modern styling is testament to their combined talents. Details would likely be toned down on any production model, as would the concept car interior–though some details, like the dual TFT screens and button-selected drive could remain.
Reports are that before production begins on the model studies will be conducted in both the Indian and the European markets, in order to gauge the potential. Initial pricing is expected to be around “30-35 lakhs, or 3-3.5 million rupees–around $48,000-$56,000.”
Nathan – For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. – Ecclesiastes 3:19
Tata Motors, one of India’s largest companies, calls their Tata Megapixel concept car; “A range extended electric vehicle (REEV), and a new four seat city-smart global car concept for the performance-seeking and environment-conscious motorist.”
The Tata Megapixel will have a fuel tank — although strictly speaking, power to the wheels will come from battery power alone.
An onboard single cylinder 325cc gasoline-powered engine is referred to in Tata’s corporate literature as the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) is merely ‘along for the ride’ to recharge the batteries while the car is being driven.
Megapixel’s APU will start up and shut down automatically at various times during trips to keep the batteries charged. Tata Megapixel boasts a 900 km range per tank of gas.
One novel All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) method is to have four independent electric motors (one 10kw motor at each wheel) putting the power to the road.
It is a very interesting approach and Tata Motors has taken full advantage of one of the new opportunities that EV technology can allow. I hope we’ll be seeing more of this as EV’s take a firmer hold in the automotive marketplace.
For those nasty parking challenges, the Megapixel’s steering gear allows the car to have a zero turn-radius. Other features that drivers will find attractive once this car hits production is a hands-free inductive charging pad and a sophisticated smartphone interface which connects seamlessly with the Megapixel’s electronics.
All in all, one can’t help but be impressed by this tiny, but stylish contender. It will be a pleasure to post updates as more information becomes available. The Tata Megapixel may turn out to be the smartest, smart-car yet.
To visit the Tata Motors Megapixel website, click here.
About Tata Motors
Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs. 1,23,133 crores ($ 27 billion) in 2010-11.
Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, Spain and South Africa.
Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands.
It also distributes Fiat cars in India, and has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India.
With over 6.5 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country’s market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles.
It is also the world’s fourth largest truck manufacturer and the third largest bus manufacturer.
Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America.