Good question. “Because, you know, lot (sic) of infrastructure is required for electric vehicles and … in Norway, they are making arrangements for electric cars,” Tata Managing Director Ravi Kant told Reuters. While the Indian market will have to wait for its electric Indica, Norway has already begun work to establish some of the necessary infrastructure, like charging stations, that will make electric cars viable for everyday use.
Norway already has experience with the everyday use of EVs — Th!nk City and the Buddy are being produced there. The country has infrastructure to support their use. There are already 400
charging stations in Oslo alone.
The so-called Indica EV can run for 110 miles to 124 miles (175 km to 200 km) when fully charged according to S. Ravishankar, senior general manager at Tata Motors’ engineering research center. That mileage could vary depending on how the car is driven, and also the conditions under which it’s being used.
A country like Norway would be a perfect place to really torture-test an electric car. With brutal winters to sap the charge of batteries, intense cold to play havoc with electrical components like controllers and ICs, Norway would show Tata what is and isn’t going to work with a full-scale production version of the Indica EV quicker than running test models on the streets of Mumbai.
Another interesting facet of Tata Motors’ electric car: It will be ‘left-hand drive,’ according to Ravi Kant. Indian home-market cars are all right-hand drive, meaning that Tata is presumably working ahead on being able to roll out the Indica EV for a worldwide market.
Tata has never been one to shy away from unconventional moves. The company is also nearing production of the Nano, the world’s cheapest car, and it recently bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford for $2.3 billion. Making moves to compete in the emerging EV market with the likes of Toyota, GM, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi, fits in with Tata’s maverick approach. And they are going about it in very clever ways. The more the merrier.