In January, India’s Tata Group announced that it would be producing the world’s cheapest car to cost just 100,000 Indian rupees (about $US 2,500). In February, Tara Motors announced that it would be producing an even cheaper car (but not by much), the Tara Tiny for 99,000 rupees. Unlike the Tata Nano, the Tara Tiny would be a zero-emission electric vehicle. The Tara vehicle will be built in India of mainly Chinese parts.
Now a third Indian manufacturer, the Fieldmarshal Group, has announced that it has entered into a partnership with the Australian battery technology company, Farrow Technologies, to produce 50,000 electric cars a year as well as battery powered three-wheel “rickshaws”. The electric car will be priced below its rivals at just 85,000 rupees (about $US 2,200).
The Fieldmarshal Group is currently a manufactured of petrol and diesel driven auto-rickshaws. It intends to develop a network of battery exchange centres where pre-charged batteries could be installed in cars in just 30 seconds.
Farrow Technologies had already developed a concept electric vehicle specifically for the Indian market and saddlebag battery packs, which can easily be exchanged, for scooters and electric rickshaws. The Australian company sees these as potentially replacing 40 million petrol scooters in China and 25 million auto-rickshaws in India.