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Old 19th November 2010, 22:57   #1
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Default Tata Indica Vista EV

I had a chance to drive the Tata Indica Vista EV electric car today. I have to say I was impressed, it's a good little vehicle.

The car is going to be launched next year in the UK (and presumably in India as well) and the car I drove wasn't the final production version. However, its a very good car with excellent range and reasonable performance.

I've written a full review here:
Tata Indica Vista EV test drive

I'm hoping to get one of these cars early next year as part of a trial that Tata are running in the UK prior to the car's launch.
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Old 20th November 2010, 09:08   #2
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Awesome, my wife would love it when one of these release in India. But considering the power problems that plague us, I think we'd have to drive it with a firm hand at the rear - most of the times.
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Old 20th November 2010, 10:58   #3
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Alot of electric cars are due for launch in the next couple of years
the indica EV, the hyundai i10 electric
the spark electric was due for launch untill mahindra took over Reva and that partnership between Reva and GM effectively ended
If only the government did anything to promote alternative fuel vehicles!
cars like the civic hybrid would be a roaring success!
But exciting times lie ahead!
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Old 20th November 2010, 16:07   #4
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Neat review! Super pleased that Tata's managed to sort out the interior fit&finish well before the launch.

Is it confirmed that the production vehicle will not have power steering either? How much of a drain is an EPS anyway?

Also wonder why the light and wiper stalks are on the opposite side, unless maybe Tata perceives a much larger LHD market than RHD in Europe.
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Old 20th November 2010, 22:40   #5
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Quote:
Alot of electric cars are due for launch in the next couple of years
the indica EV, the hyundai i10 electric
the spark electric was due for launch untill mahindra took over Reva and that partnership between Reva and GM effectively ended
Yes, there are a good choice of cars on the way. Don't forget the REVA NXR in that list.


Quote:
Is it confirmed that the production vehicle will not have power steering either? How much of a drain is an EPS anyway?
My understanding is that the production car won't have power steering, but I may be wrong on that point - I will try and get that point confirmed.


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Also wonder why the light and wiper stalks are on the opposite side, unless maybe Tata perceives a much larger LHD market than RHD in Europe.
My apologies. I wrote this article from a UK perspective rather than an Indian perspective. Because most cars sold in the United Kingdom are built in Europe, the indicator stalks and wiper stalks are swapped over so that they are on the other side of the steering wheel to what you would expect in India. For the past 30 years, this has also been true of all British built cars as well.

So from an Indian perspective, the windscreen wiper stalks and indicator stalks are on the correct side of the steering wheel.
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Old 4th December 2010, 11:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBoxwell View Post
My understanding is that the production car won't have power steering, but I may be wrong on that point - I will try and get that point confirmed.
Any news on this? I ask because the Vista is a heavy car, and since electrics will be used mostly in the city, parking and tight traffic situations might be a bit of a pain.

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Because most cars sold in the United Kingdom are built in Europe, the indicator stalks and wiper stalks are swapped over so that they are on the other side of the steering wheel to what you would expect in India. For the past 30 years, this has also been true of all British built cars as well.
I have a Chevy Spark which has the stalks on the "wrong" sides and I know that although it takes little time getting used to it, there is a certain amount of convenience lost. For example when down-shifting before a turn, one has to do each individually (downshift & activate the indicator), while if the stalks are on the "right" sides, then one can do both together, saving time & also being more convenient.

Why would British companies change to the European way? I don't think there is a Major cost advantage, is there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBoxwell View Post
So from an Indian perspective, the windscreen wiper stalks and indicator stalks are on the correct side of the steering wheel.
That is true for most Indian/Japanese made cars in India, but Ford and GM are trying to change that

Hope it doesn't become like the UK.
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Old 4th December 2010, 13:54   #7
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Nice review Mike! 60mph is pretty good speed for business as usual EV. Wishing the car hits the roads soon and governments think beyond fuel profits everywhere...The UK is doing really good on that front in my opinion...Fingers crossed.
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Old 4th December 2010, 14:35   #8
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Originally Posted by raghav.carfreak View Post
If only the government did anything to promote alternative fuel vehicles!
They have - recently, by announcing upto-Rs 1 lakh discounts on EVs. But so long as the petroleum companies have a clout in transport policy making, expect EVs to remain slightly beyond reach of the entry-level mass car market in India.
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Old 6th April 2011, 14:15   #9
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Default Tata Indica Vista EV

Tata have opened a small factory in the UK to assemble the Indica Vista EV. Stripped out cars are being shipped across from India and final assembly is taking place on the new assembly lines.

The car has been shown a number of times in Europe and initial sales start this summer.

I've been lucky enough to get my hands on one of the pre-production cars and I'm currently using it as my daily car.

Yes, that is a REVA in the background. And the other car in the photographs is a Mitsubishi i MiEV electric car.

The Vista EV is a good car. It is easily the most comfortable of the three with a solid feel and good ride and handling. Top speed is 114km/h and it can happily cruise at that speed without a problem.

It might sound strange, but I don't know what the range is, because I've never driven it far enough to find out. I did drive it 80km on one trip and used up half the range.

The reason for having so many electric cars is that I write about them and have a number of books on the subject (The Electric Car Guide). That also means I get to try out a lot of these cars before they're available to the general public.

I think that India could have a good lead in the electric vehicle business. Tata have built a competent car in the Indica Vista EV, REVA have tens of millions of kilometres of real-world use in their cars, and I was impressed when I drove a prototype NXR a while back. Tata are also going to be launching an Ace EV in Europe this year. I presume it is only a matter of time before these cars will appear back in India again.
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Last edited by FlyingSpur : 6th April 2011 at 21:33. Reason: Duplication of images.
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Old 6th April 2011, 15:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBoxwell View Post
Tata have opened a small factory in the UK to assemble the Indica Vista EV. Stripped out cars are being shipped across from India and final assembly is taking place on the new assembly lines.

The car has been shown a number of times in Europe and initial sales start this summer.
Its heartening to note what you have said. Of the three, I am sure that the Indica Vista EV is whole lot better than the Reva but that it is even better than Mitsubishi MIEV is great to hear. I hope the Indica Vista EV emerges successful in Europe.

Its too bad that Tata is not taking the initiative in launching this car in India as this would be the first ever four-door electric car here, if launched. Being an Indian company, Tata should try to bring it to India at the earliest before GM or Hyundai does it with their electric cars.
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Old 6th April 2011, 15:31   #11
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista EV

Mike, pleasantly surprised to see a review for the Vista EV.

The news I heard was that Tata will provide the cars to a select few/fleets in the beginning and ramp up production based on feedback. A more detailed review will be much appreciated.

What will be the cost difference between the Reva and the Vista EV.
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Old 6th April 2011, 15:37   #12
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista EV

Hello Mike,
Thanks for the report on the vista ev!!
Also please post some interior shots. Especially the rear bench.

This can be a really good city car if launched here in India. Tata must try to bring down the cost of the vista ev and should launch it in India. Or the government should provide some subsidies on such electric cars.
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Old 6th April 2011, 16:05   #13
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista EV

Wow!!! Seats 5, looks like a "car", 160km range, 120kmph top speed????
Am I dreaming!? This is great news, thanks a ton for sharing this.
In fact, I wouldn't mind spending even Rs 10 lakh (=1 million rupees = $ 22k - 23k) on such a car for daily use, provided it's range could be improved to a little over 200km, and it comes with all the safety gizmos and other stuff)
Interior pics, pics of the boot, and that of the "engine bay" please.
Did you buy your's or was it sponsored for testing?
How much do you think it will cost in the UK? I would've loved it if it'd been launched in India first.
Anyway, do share a review of the NXG and pics with us, if you can!
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Old 6th April 2011, 16:50   #14
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Congrats to Tatas' for bringing in the Vista EV & the Ace EV. Wish they succeed and be launched in India ASAP.

@Mike how about a review of the Reva NXR as well?
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Old 6th April 2011, 18:14   #15
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista EV

Tata executives have already stated in public that Vista EV will not be launched in India due to the dismal power scenario in the country.

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Originally Posted by aman9393 View Post
Or the government should provide some subsidies on such electric cars.
Electric cars merely transfer pollution from the road to the place where the power plant is located. After all, they consume electricity! It costs billions to set up a power plant so why should electric cars be subsidised?

Nevertheless, it does feel good to read a positive opinion about an Indian car given by a Britisher!
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