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Indian car giant Tata is believed to have ditched plans to introduce an electric car in the UK.

Tata started a limited production run of the Indica Vista EV in Coventry last March, with plans to use the first models as test vehicles in public, on-the-road trials. But according to a ‘reliable source’ the Indian firm is to withdraw the vehicle and shut down the entire project, following technical problems with the Fiesta-sized battery car.

It is believed that the cost of production and reliability issues affecting the batteries caused the firm to change its plans to fully introduce the model. Test models were believed to have needed battery replacements within a few months-at a cost of around £15,000 a piece.
A fleet of 25 models are still on UK roads this week, as part of the CABLED project, a Technology Strategy Board (TSB)-run public trial of low emission models in the West Midlands. Just ten further models are still thought to be in the UK, the rest having been sent to the crusher.
As the CABLED trial draws to an end this week, a Tata spokesperson simply told us that the firm is “in the process of incorporating the learning from the development phase and the CABLED trial” and would not confirm whether plans to fully introduce the model had been scrapped. As TSB hold a press conference tomorrow to mark the end of the trial, we hope to hear more from Tata to confirm if the model is indeed to be scrapped.
The model was one of the first cars to be approved for Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, for buyers of electric cars. However this week, it appears the model has been removed from the list of approved vehicles on the Department for Transport (DfT) website.
The Indica Vista EV was a fully-electric 4-seater family car with 110 mile range and a top speed of 71 mph, expected to launch in the UK and other selected European markets from late 2011, with a more comprehensive launch planned from early this year.
The model was expected to be priced at around £25,000 to £30,000, but the grants for its buyers would have reduced the price by £5,000.


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