Diversified business house Tata group is developing an electric car that is expected to be priced below $20,000 (over Rs 10 lakh) in partnership with France's Dassault Systemes.
The group's engineering services outsourcing and product development IT services arm, Tata Technologies has completed the first feasibility study of the electric vehicle using Dassault Systemes' 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.
In a statement, Tata Technologies President (Vehicle Programs and Development Group) Kevin Fisher said the company is working on with Dassault Systemes to "leverage the talents of a global engineering team to meet numerous design and cost constraints, as well as create the targeted user experience, including a final vehicle price tag of under $20,000."
The statement, however, did not share other details such as when the vehicle is likely to be launched or how much the company is investing to develop the product.
With the help of Dassault Systemes' technologies, the Tata group firm had completed its first electric Mobility (eMO) study, demonstrating the feasibility of developing an electric vehicle at an attractive price, the company said.
The company said a significant challenge in the development process was the requirement to fit all the vehicle systems into a small footprint, while maintaining spacious seating for four adults.
"To achieve this, Tata Technologies utilised the powerful capabilities within CATIA and ENOVIA applications to quickly develop various studies, allowing global collaboration to rapidly evaluate and converge on optimal solutions," it added.
The development of the eMO is a global effort, requiring collaboration among over 300 Tata Technologies engineers from different places, including India, the US and Europe.
Commenting on the development, Dassault Systemes Executive Vice President (Industry) Monica Menghini said: "Tata Technologies is a key business partner for us and we see its innovative and forward-looking project as the perfect example of how our 3DEXPERIENCE platform is critical to collaboration with OEMs for accelerated development cycles."
But does Tata have enough money to spend on research in order to build an "affordable" car and more importantly how will it make a profit on it?
Another Tata group firm Tata Motors had announced that it was developing an electric version of its hatchback Indica with a Norwegian firm for launching it in the British, Norwegian and Danish markets by 2011, which has not taken place yet.