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Tatas acquire 50.3% in Norwegian e-vehicle major for Rs 9.4 crore

FTata Motors has acquired a 50.3% holding in Norway-based electric vehicle major Miljo Grenland/Innovasjon for Kroner 12 million (Rs 9.4 crore). Its UK subsidiary, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, is the investment vehicle for the acquisition. The existing shareholders will retain the remaining stake in the company. ET had reported the development in its edition dated August 5, 2008.

Miljo will produce electric vehicles based on Tata Motors' products, besides manufacturing super polymer lithium ion batteries and developing related technologies. Electric car, or e-car, is the new super kid in the world of automobiles. The first such vehicle to be developed will be Indica EV. It is scheduled for launch in Europe in 2009.

Unlike existing e-vehicles, Indica EV will be capable of carrying four people. Analysts say the vehicle may attract buyers as there is no excise duty. Tata Motors believes that this investment in Miljo Grenland will help it realise its strategy to develop convenient, affordable and sustainable mobility solutions through electric and hybrid vehicles, according to the statement issued by the company.

Miljo Grenland, founded in 1997, markets zero-emission vehicles. It is owned by Skagerak Energi, a regional utility company, and Norsk Hydro, a $25-billion European oil, energy and light metal company. Lack of advanced technology has restricted the growth of battery-powered vehicles in India, sources said. Global players like General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Nissan-Renault and Fuji Heavy Industries are accelerating the development of e-cars, while cutting down production of fuel guzzling light trucks and SUVs.

Source: The Economic Times

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