India: New Tata Hybrid Auto to Deliver 236 MPG

March 11th, 2012
in econ_news

Written by Sanjeev Kulkarni

Econintersect: Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM, BSE:TATAMOTORS, 500570) has unveiled Megapixel, a new hybrid car which it claims will deliver fuel efficiency of 100 km per liter (or 236 miles per tata-megapixelSMALLgallon). This is four times the most fuel efficient Totoyta hybrids which give approximately 50 mpg. The car announcement in the  Geneva 82nd Motor Show came three years after launch of Tata's cheapest car, the Nano.

The company's news release states the car combines a lithium ion phosphate battery and an on-board petrol engine generator for recharging the battery on the move. Although greater technical details are unavailable this concept might be similar to the configuration used in diesel electric locomotives.  The hybrid cars from Toyota, in contrast, use both internal combustion engine and a motor in the power driven train.  (Click on picture for larger image.)

Follow up:

The Megapixel will have range of to 900 km on a single fuel tank recharge tank of fuel and a "path-breaking" CO2 emission of just 22 gm / km and fuel economy of 100 km / litre (under battery only power)."

The car's electric drive has four independent electric motors, one at each wheel. This should give the car a greater maneuverability during parking with turning radius of 2.8 meters. The battery charging system will be contact-less:  the car has to be parked over an induction pad for charging.  No selling price has been revealed.

Technically four  wheel independent drive configuration is a smart way to extract power from a combustion engine at  optimum fuel consumption level and minimizing pollution without complex engine management.  Use of four quadrant inverter drives can recharge the battery using the energy released during braking.

Critics are worried whether the introduction is premature.  Fire problems plagued early Nanos, and it is hoped that the new car does not have technology hiccups.

Tata Motors Ltd. which also is the owner of the Jaguar and Land Rover marques reported unprecedented quarterly profit on surging sales in China and demand for the Evoque compact sport utility vehicle.


Tata Megapixel, 82nd Geneva Motor Show: Company News Release
Tata Motors at Record as JLR Propels Profit: Bloomberg
Toyota Prius: Toyota

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