Tata has showcased its latest engineering wonder, the eMO EV concept as a part of the Michellin Challenge Design at the Detroit Auto Show. The eMO (Electric MObility) has been engineered and developed by more than 300 engineers from the Tata Technologies centers based in Pune, Detroit, UK and Germany.
The eMO architecture emphasizes on ‘right size’ personal urban transportation by minimizing its exterior footprint and maximizing interior space, and this includes seating for four adults. And based upon research of city and urban usage, eMO has the flexibility – with rear seats articulated – to do double-duty as a personal cargo carrier, without the mass and cost of a dedicated trunk.
The concept features a liquid-cooled, dual-motor, front-wheel-drive drivetrain coupled with an air-cooled 18.4 kW high-energy/density battery. It is capable of travelling 161 km on a single charge, with a top speed of 105kph. Additional features include nine air bags, a full steel safety cage, a dashboard touchscreen interface, and easy-access rear suicide doors, combined with forward-opening front doors.
On the mechanical front, it gets an independent front lower A arm and MacPherson struts. The rear suspension has a semi-trailing link with separate mounting shock absorbers and springs. Front disc and rear drum brakes are antilock with electronic stability control. Steering is provided by an electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion system.
It also reportedly has more aerodynamic surfaces and shorter overhangs than conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles. To further reduce carbon footprint, its assembly process forgoes traditional painting methods for mold-in colored body panels, and it incorporates recycled building materials.
Despite having an estimated price tag of USD 20,000, the eMO concept has no plans of being mass produce. However, Warren Harris, Tata Technologies President and Global COO states, "We developed it strictly as an engineering study with no particular automaker in mind. If there are auto companies interested in exploring the potential of the eMO, we would, of course, welcome that opportunity."
"The eMO project symbolizes the coming of age of Indian automotive engineering," according to Harris.
Kevin Fisher, President, Tata Technologies' Vehicle Programs & Development (VPD) Group, explained the beginning of the eMO program. "In mid-2010, in anticipation of the April 2011 launch of VPD, we researched numerous concepts for an internal engineering study that would highlight both the Tata Technologies dedication to environmental responsibility and sustainability, and showcase our global experience, knowledge, capacity and innovation."
Issue: 190 | Autocar India: June 2015
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