Tata motors announced today that its UK subsidiary, Tata Motors European Technical Centre Plc has acquired 50.3 per cent of Norwegian electric vehicle firm Miljų Grenland/Innovasjon for Rs9.40 crore ($2 million)
The Norwegian electric car specialist's remaining shares will be held by the existing shareholders.
Tata Motors says that this investment in Miljoe will help the company realise its strategy to develop convenient, affordable and sustainable mobility solutions through electric and hybrid vehicles.
''Miljų will produce electric vehicles based on Tata Motors' products, besides manufacturing of state-of-the-art super polymer lithium ion batteries and the development of related technologies,'' the company said.
The left-hand drive 'Indica EV' was developed at the Tata Motors research facility in the UK, in collaboration with Miljų Grenland Innovasjon who is the top electric vehicle research and development firm in Norway and the acquisition dovetails with Tata Motors plans to introduce the electric version of its Indica hatchback, the 'Indica ev' in Norway in 2009 and a year later in India (See: Tata Motors to launch electric 'Indica EV' in Norway)
Unlike existing electric vehicles, the Indica EV will be a more practicable option for the consumer, capable of carrying 4 people, have adequate luggage space, and a predicted range of up to 200km and acceleration of 0-60 kmph in under 10 seconds.
As in the Nano, Tata Motors continues its innovative approach with Indica EV too, using super polymer lithium ion batteries which will have superior energy density compared to the current best-in-class electric vehicles.
Miljų Grenland is the front runner in the European electric car market with ongoing research and development in new zero emission technologies and is partly owned by regional utility company Skagerak Energi and the $25-billion energy and integrated aluminium company, Norsk Hydro, with whom the Tatas were reported to have been mulling a new facility to develop light-body chasis in India a few years back.
Electric vehicle research is moving towards plug in electric vehicles, which have batteries that can be recharged through a conventional outlet.