Tata Technologies was selected by Michelin to display its electric MObility (eMO) engineering study EV as part of the prestigious Michelin Challenge Design display at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
"The eMO project symbolizes the coming of age of Indian automotive engineering," said Warren Harris, Tata Technologies President and Global COO. "It is a tangible example of the capability of Tata Technologies to engineer a full vehicle - a first for any India-based engineering services company."
Harris noted that the unique strength of Tata Technologies is the organization's global reach. "Because we are India-based, Tata Technologies is intimately familiar with developing markets. Additionally, our experience and presence in Europe and North America means we also have an understanding of developed markets; a combination that provides a competitive advantage to our clients," he said.
Tata Technologies' Vehicle Programs & Development (VPD) Group, with more than 300 engineers operating from its four automotive engineering centers of excellence worldwide - Pune (India), Detroit, Coventry (UK), and Stuttgart (Germany) - had the responsibility of developing eMO.
Kevin Fisher, VPD President, 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."
The Tata Technologies VPD Group used its unique multidimensional approach to vehicle engineering and development on eMO that leverages the company's intimate understanding of frugal engineering principles and its unique understanding of the demands of both developed and developing markets; utilizing its Global Delivery Model and proprietary Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) platforms to develop products faster and more cost effectively, Fisher added.
"As we have previously stated, this next decade will see an ever-increasing demand for more efficient and accelerated product development that also will need to incorporate more new technology than the auto industry has seen in 30 years," Fisher said. "We are positioned to set the pace in automotive product development and technological innovation."
The eMO architecture emphasizes "right size" personal urban transportation by minimizing its exterior footprint and maximizing interior space, including seating for four adults. Based upon research of city/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.
As a ground-up EV study, eMO also incorporates design advantages over an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle like smoother aerodynamic surfaces and shorter overhangs. With sustainability in mind, eMO benefits from a low carbon footprint and a recyclability strategy. To reduce the overall carbon footprint of the manufacturing, assembly and other associated processes, Tata Technologies eliminated the traditional body shop and paint process, and utilizes many green product materials in eMO.
The 2012 Michelin Challenge Design Theme, "City 2046: Art, Life and Ingenuity - Transforming Personal Mobility," challenged participants to design a personal, ground-based vehicle that can transport between two and 10 people, meeting the anticipated needs of select cities in 2046, when more options for public and private transport will be offered. Michelin challenged entrants to create a vehicle that can inspire, as well as transport. Design winners were invited to be an exhibitor in the Michelin Challenge Design at the 2012 NAIAS beginning January 9 and continuing through the public run of the show. "We are delighted to showcase our eMO concept alongside these innovative ideas," said Fisher.