First week with Tata Indica Vista EV
TATA Indica Vista EV
Our first week with the TATA Indica Vista EV has been exciting. We collected the car from the new TATA factory in Coventry as part of the CABLED trial. We were privileged enough to be given a tour of the factory and shown how the cars are built and tested. TATA completed 1000 miles of testing on each of the cars before they were passed to the users, as this is a preproduction car.
We plan to use the car for nearly all our driving, the only reason to use our petrol bar will be for long journeys or if we need 2 cars. Our daily driving includes school runs, ferrying the kids around, shopping, days out and some commuting to work.
TATA Indica Vista EV interior
The kids are excited about using an electric car again, they were disappointed when we had to revert back to a petrol car after the Mitsubishi i MiEV was returned and had been asking when are we getting another electric car? They like the quiet of the electric cars and also knowing that it is not polluting the atmosphere.
We had a test drive of the TATA Indica Vista EV a few months ago and were impressed with the build quality, design and size both inside and out of the pre production model. Our car is still pre production but they have completed some updates including ride, handling and interior. It now feels a much better finished product. The seats are full leather and comfortable with good support.
My first journey in the TATA is the school run with both children. Turn the ignition on and the car starts beeping and then quiet. The dash is lit up and the Neutral light has stopped flashing, we are ready to go. Foot on break and put it in drive gear and were off, nice gentle pull away and very quiet. At slow speeds you can only here some road noise.
TATA Indica Vista EV side view
On our estate there are lots of 90 degree bends as a traffic calming measure. The first thing that I notice is the lack of power steering. After being used to power steering for quite a few years it takes some adjustment to get used to the heavy steering. Out of the village and onto faster roads. The A road I have to use has a 60 MPH speed limit about half a mile if this journey is up hill. The car can keep to a steady 60 MPH up hill, although this will drain the battery more than going at slower speeds.
In the first 11 hours of using the car we have completed 111 miles with one top up charge, this included a journey from Coventry to Worcester.
My first impression of our new car is very good and I am looking forward to the year driving with the TATA. In the next few weeks we are planning to complete some range tests, to see what range can be achieved driving on different road conditions and speeds.
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The 2011 Electric Car Guide
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For a taster, why not read the first chapter of the book.