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Old 19th September 2010, 12:07   #1
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Default Spotted : Solar Powered Vista Hybrid in the offing ?

Spotted an interesting Tata Indica Vista prototype here in Pune today morning.

It had a solar panel on its extended roof. When I say extended, I mean the roof extends like a large spoiler at the back. It was a solar panel, thats for sure.
The wheels were similar to the Vista Electric up front. The rear wheels were partially concealed with a new panel. The car was equipped with what I assume to be data logging equipment and had lots of wires running along the mirrors and the doors.

I assume this is a hybrid, because the length of the solar panels probably cannot be sufficient by themselves to propel such a large car.

I could not click pics as I was driving as well as trying to get my phone out of my pocket.

If launched, I say this is an excellent move by Tata!

Note to Mods : Could not find a solar powered Vista thread, if it exists, please merge with the same.
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Old 19th September 2010, 13:04   #2
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@ sajo,
Post any pics if possible.
I am totally agree with you that it may be a hybrid version, as only solar power will not be sufficient to run an Indica engine.
Really it will be a very good move by Tata Motors.
Any guesses, by any means are they launching Indica Vista Hybrid / Electirc here in India, as they are already available in European countries.
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Old 19th September 2010, 13:17   #3
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Was it a LHD ?
I guess, i saw one of these in Pune 2 weeks back and assumed it to be an export model as it was a LHD
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Old 19th September 2010, 13:49   #4
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Fantastic attempt by Tata.Its a good initiative to tap a renewable energy source.Solar energy will hardly be sufficient to run the vehicle,no doubt it'll be a hybrid.
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Old 19th September 2010, 14:06   #5
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interesting to see TATA is doing these experiments on a Vista rather than a Nano.
Nano having a much smaller weight would be a better experimental platform. However, the fact that Vista is being used may mean they are close to realistic / manufacturing prototype stage.

A Solar hybrid, which costs 1 Lac more than the regular, that offers say 30% extra mileage - might work out to a good practical car.

Lets see if this will be the Prius of India.
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Old 19th September 2010, 14:58   #6
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I wish this is true ! If so, 100 points to TATA for such a bold move! Also I always feel that the entire body panel that's parallel to the sky should have the panels [there should be some mechanism to hide it] - say like bonnet top, complete body top and the hatch as well. So at any point of time, there will be sunlight falling on the car and could be converted into energy and this may provide all the extra energy required to move the car! Am sure the spoiler alone cant do the job. If they implement this, the cost might go really high, but the government can always support these initiatives by giving those subsidies to the manufacturers.
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Old 19th September 2010, 15:16   #7
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Guys it was not just a spoiler like thingy, but the entire roof was 1 big solar panel, and that panel extended beyond the length of the roof, giving it the appearance of an over extended spoiler.

Also, the semi concealed rear wheel is so 90s. It appeared like this first generation Honda Insight.

Spotted : Solar Powered Vista Hybrid in the offing ?-honda_insight_back.jpg

The car was RHD. And at first glance would appear to be a really beat up, shoddily repaired with "jugaad" body panels car.
Infact it is wired up through some panels and those extra "panels" (solar) serve a purpose.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 12:45   #8
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Was it similar to this ?

Google Image Result for http://www.popularmechanics.com/cm/popularmechanics/images/9l/TataMotors2_500_0710-lg.jpg
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Old 22nd September 2010, 14:19   #9
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Great news! It will be a great hit in India if priced appropriatly. We have abundunt solar power.

Originally Posted by FourWheelDrift View Post
Was it similar to this ?

Google Image Result for http://www.popularmechanics.com/cm/p...00_0710-lg.jpg
Sad to know that Chargin unit issue prevented Indica Vista from winning this event. As per the Popularmechanics website.
Easily one of the most professional teams on the X-Prize grid, difficulties with a charging unit prevented the Indian powerhouse from participating in some of the final round tests. Had the charging issue been overcome, their Indica Vista EV X would have certainly been a contender in the finals. (Photo by Rex Roy)
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Old 22nd September 2010, 14:39   #10
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Thats very interesting. I spotted an odd looking (from the front at an angle) Vista near Hinjewadi last week. I discounted the odd look as a poor after market mod attempt. We better be vigilant and snap it up in our cameras ! quite a scoop.

Mahindra showcased the Scorpio Hybrid 3 years ago and now we have a solar powered/assisted Vista on the Pune roads !! wow !
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Old 23rd September 2010, 02:07   #11
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I think this is a winner in itself. If Tata can bring a semi micro hybrid in India @ an Indian price (read as compared to Prius Imported price), it will be a winner in Metros for sure. People spend so much time standing in the sun in traffic these days :P. Jokes apart. Good Move Tata. Give us the new Indica Vista with the Vista EV looks that was showcased in Auto Expo earlier this year.

Liked that "...Indian Powerhouse part..." Surely Tata made India a car powerhouse with its indigenous brand and then with JLR.

Great going Tata.
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