Tata Motors Megapixel Range-Extended EV shows promise

Tata Motors Megapixel Range-Extended EV shows promise | 11/11/13
by John Brian Shannon John Brian Shannon

Tata Megapixel
The Tata Motors Megapixel Range-Extended-Electric-Vehicle has All-Wheel-Drive, a 900 kilometre range, and a tiny 1-cylinder engine to recharge the battery! Image by Tata Motors.

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.

Tata Megapixel from above
The Tata Motors Megapixel. Image by Tata Motors.
Tata Megapixel side doors open
The Tata Motors Megapixel. Image by Tata Motors.
Tata Megapixel from above - doors open
The Tata Motors Megapixel. Image by Tata Motors.

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.
  • Website: www.tatamotors.com
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Tata Megapixel concept Hybrid EV displayed at 82nd Geneva Motor Show

Tata Motors Press Release re-blogged from the Tata Motors website April 14, 2012

Tata Megapixel. Image by Tata Motors
Tata Megapixel concept car. Image by Tata Motors

Tata Motors presented the Tata Megapixel, a new four-seat range extended electric vehicle (REEV) concept car for the global performance-seeking and environment-conscious motorist.

Combining a lithium ion phosphate battery with a one-cylinder on-board gasoline-powered electrical generator to recharge the battery on-the-move, the Tata Megapixel offers a range of up to 900km per tank of fuel, ground-breaking CO2 emissions of just 22 grams/km and fuel economy of 1litre/100 km under battery-only power.

The car’s electric drive has four independent electric motors, one at each wheel.

When parking, the electric hub motors drive the wheels in opposite directions, while the front wheels are turned at an acute angle, enabling an exceptional 2.8 metre turning radius.

The class-leading ‘Zero Turn’ drive system of the Tata Pixel (shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show) has been taken to an even higher level of manoeuvrability in the Tata Megapixel.

The at-home charging system is an innovative induction charging system. The car has simply to be parked over the induction pad for charging to begin.

The Tata Megapixel is as distinctive in elegantly melding Indian uniqueness — in colours, graphic themes or materials – with global styling preferences.

Tata Megapixel concept car. Image by Tata Motors
Tata Megapixel concept car. Image by Tata Motors

The integrated lamp and grille graphics sweep back over the front wheel arches to render a dynamic front end. It is echoed on the panoramic roof, creating a harmony between sun and shade and sense of interior space. The floating C-pillar and wrap-around belt line finisher integrate perfectly with the sculpted body surface, flowing freely to the rear and encapsulating the five-spoke wheel design.

A double-sliding door system and the car’s B-pillar-less design make entry/exit easy, and enhancing visibility

Tata Megapixel concept car. Image by Tata Motors
Tata Megapixel concept car. Image by Tata Motors

So, the Tata Megapixel comfortably accommodates four adults with luggage. The front seats are cantilevered on the central tunnel, releasing floor space for additional storage. The battery layout and hub motors maximize the interior package.

Light leather trims and rose metal details accentuate the fusion of richness of tradition and innovative technology.

Tata Motors Megapixel concept car. Image courtesy of Tata Motors.
Tata Motors Megapixel concept car. Image courtesy of Tata Motors.

This fusion is heightened by an advanced human machine interface (HMI). The console docking point can connect a smart phone with the car. The built-in large touchscreen HMI, at the centre of the instrument panel, thus becomes a common access point for the repertoire of smart devices and for controlling the functions of the car, such as temperature, ventilation, driving modes and performance.

“The Tata Megapixel, developed by our design centres in India, the UK and Italy, is our idea of a city car for discerning motorists in any megacity of the world.

It is a result of the progress we have made on the Tata Pixel, displayed last year, and also denotes the company’s future design direction.” — Prakash Telang, managing director, India operations, Tata Motors

Watch the official launch video

Tata Motors’ displays also include the new generation Tata Safari Storme SUV, the Tata Aria crossover, the Tata Indigo Manza sedan and the Tata Indica Vista hatchback.