Tata Motors out of India isn’t a name many Americans know. The auto maker is making an interesting impression at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, however, unveiling a compact, four-seater extended range electric vehicle concept for urban dwellers called the Megapixel.
The Tata Megapixel, according to the car company, combines a lithium-ion phosphate battery and an on-board gas generator for recharging the battery while the car is on the go. With a single tank of fuel, it is said this hybrid can get a range of up to 560 miles or so. Electric only range is around 55 miles, and it has a not so gut wrenching top speed of just 68 MPH.
There are some interesting design notions in this concept green vehicle, such as independent electric motors, one at each wheel, that drive the wheels in opposite directions, while the front wheels are turned at an acute angle, enabling one to get at some various tough parking angles. Charging the battery that powers these motors is done via a wireless induction charging system, whereby the car has simply to be parked over the induction pad for charging to begin.
Entrance and exit from the Megapixel is done via an innovative double-sliding door system, and with the way this concept is configured to minimize the battery layout and hub motors, it reportedly can easily accommodate four adults and their luggage.
Technology in this vehicle includes what’s called an advanced human machine interface (HMI). A console docking point, Tata said, connects a smart phone with the car, and a touchscreen HMI in the center of the instrument panel allows for control of functions such as temperature, ventilation, driving modes and performance.