Tata Nano Was Supposed To Run On Alternative Fuel — But Ratan Tata Couldn’t Implement The Plans

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After the earlier comments made by Tata Son's ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry, the Nano project has been a hot debate in the Indian automobile industry.

According to the data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, although Nano may be the cheapest car in the world, its sales has dropped 70 percent over the course of last six years.

In an earlier comment made by Mistry stated that even though there was no margin of profit from the Nano project it was kept on due to emotional reasons.

The reason is because the Nano project supplies parts to an electric car company which is part owned by the founder of Nano project Ratan Tata.

But as per the sources, the insiders of the Tata Motors say that Ratan Tata had other plans for the Nano to turn the fortunes of the car, but it was not possible to implement the plan after Cyrus Mistry became the Chairman in December 2012.

One of the insiders from Tata Motors said, "There was a lot of research and development on the Nano platform. There were plans to use it to develop an air car (which uses compressed air to drive), and hybrid and electric cars."

Tata Motors was also working with the Norwegian electric car and component manufacturer Miljøbil Grenland, it also acquired 60 percent of the stake in the company. And for the air car Tata Motors was working with French firm Motor Development International.

Both the firms were working on a seven-year project. In 2010 Tata Motors funded Miljøbil Grenland to develop a battery technology.

Tata had also speculated for an automatic version of the Nano. Also there were plans to export the Nano to Latin America and Europe and these cars would have been feature rich.

But in the end Tata sold all of the Miljøbil Grenland shares to the Canadian lithium cell manufacturer Electrovaya.

In 2015 Ratan Tata also invested in Ampere Vehicles, manufacturers of two and three wheeler electric vehicles. But the firm denied to have bought any Nano body shells from Tata Motors.

But Indian auto experts say that there is nothing to be ashamed of from the Nano project. A former Tata Motors Executive who had worked in the Tata Nano project said, "The Nano was developed to tackle a phenomenally bold challenge at an unheard-of price. It is not uncommon for pioneers to fail."

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