My Musing Space: Tata 'NANO' The People's Car? Why? When they have the MiniC.A.T.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tata 'NANO' The People's Car? Why? When they have the MiniC.A.T.

Someone sent me the news of Tata unveiling their new
mini car, the 'NANO' or The People's Car:

I rushed to check it out, particularly excited because a short while ago I read about an agreement that Tata signed with MDI of France, a company that developed an engine driven by compressed air. MDI has a delightful mini coming out later this year, the MiniC.A.T. (although the colours are a tad too flamboyant to my taste):

After the comparison I became quite disappointed. First of all, the two cars look very much the same, which means that Tata adopted some innovative aspects of the MiniC.A.T.'s design - after all, having signed the agreement, they bought the right to do so. Sure, the NANO is even cheaper, but it runs fully on GASOLINE! Which means lots of money spent at the pumps in the long run. And the mileage is not that much better than that of the MINI Cooper, a somewhat heavier, more expensive but loaded, American mini. So why the excitement?

We can, of course, speculate. Maybe Tata wants to (is supposed to?) wait until after MDI starts the sales of the MiniC.A.T in Europe. Maybe they are afraid that if they introduce the NANO right away as an air car, people may not be as willing to try it out. Maybe they want people to get used to the car itself first in its more conventional format. Or maybe, just maybe, they were persuaded by some interested parties who want to maintain the rate of consumption of their product...

I for one cannot wait to see, and hopefully experience, the air car as soon as possible. The idea is already inspiring other engineers around the world to produce better, more efficient technology for the air driven engine.
So, move over bio-diesel driven cars, hydrogen powered cars, even electric cars! Let us all root for and support The Air Car!!!


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