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Tata Nano Hits The Market, Environmentalists Sound Alarm


Tata Motors

Tata Motors

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Many have hailed Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors, for doing what seemed the impossible; designing, engineering, and building a incredibly cheap vehicle (approximately $2,000), The Tata Nano, which promises to both reduce traffic fatalities and extend the freedom of personal transportation to India's masses. But a growing number of environmentalists are sounding the alarm, claiming that Tata Motors has missed the mark to go a step further and introduce a petroleum-free vehicle or at least one that employs technology to seriously reduce CO2 emissions.

Tata Motors

Tata Motors

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As a New York Times blog post explains, the sudden availability of an affordable car could "create more traffic and strain on India’s already rickety urban infrastructure." An infrastructure filled with claptrap vehicles and hazardous conditions that, according to Automobile Magazine, "claims more than 90,000 lives each year." Yet the Nano is far safer than any similarly-priced mode of transport in India at present, and Ratan Tata's obsessive devotion to the project led Automobile to conclude that the Nano is "more like a social mission than another new-car project."

The Nano is powered by a conventional two-cylinder gasoline engine located under the rear seats. The sedan is claimed to seat six-foot passengers comfortably front and rear, stretches only 122 inches from nose to tail, and is packed with clever engineering to reduce cost, increase safety, and ensure durability.

With the advent of the Tata Nano, is India headed for even worse traffic sprawl and a nastier stain on global CO2 emissions? Or will the profit made from sales of this promising car enable Tata and its ascetic, visionary leader to one day have a positive effect on not just human safety but on the environment as well?

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Comments (5)
  1. "America does not own the world"

    The tone of this article seems to indicate the typical American attitude - that we own the worlds resources and only we should drive cars. This car is good for the entire world - if they sell a million then it's still less emissions than all the filthy SUV's in the US. I can't believe that this is our response to this ground breaking car.
     
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  2. "You have missed the point"

    The article is not trying to say that should have cars or that we are superior. It is Lauding TATA but warning of a lack of infrastructure to support these vehicles. India's and asia as a whole's population is more than the USA. India had a billion people. we have 300 million that is more than three times. this has the potential to put what is equivalent to our population in the amount of cars made on the roads all over Asia. Can you imagine the amount of pollution. Think about the sudden demand for fuel !!!. I am happy that TATA has done this. The Indian people deserve to have the same liberties as we do. We as modern humans are living a very unsustainable existence.
     
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  3. "True"

    Why complain? It's not like Tata is coming out with a cheap H2. Most of the cars there now are probably small and fuel efficient, or fuel-less, unlike the U.S.
     
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  4. "movin on up..."

    A 4-stroke using unleaded fuel would be the best re pollution--is that the case? I don't see why people would be against this project; it's not like TATA will be exporting it to the US.
     
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  5. "bogus"

    I guess the NYT would rather have a few lucky Indians driving Teslas than provide economic freedom to millions through an affordable, modern car. Shows you where their socialist hearts are.
     
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