Tata Technologies decided to go small for the Michelin Challenge Design showcase and came up with the eMO electric mini car being displayed now at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Michelin asked designers to come up with a personal mobility vehicle for sustainable urban living in 2046 and displayed the lilliputian results to NAIAS-goers at the show. The eMO might look miniature, but don’t be deceived – it fits four adults comfortably, has a range of 100 miles per charge and a top speed of 65 miles per hour.

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“We believe that most vehicles on the market are actually oversized and over-specified for the majority of consumers’ daily use,” says Kevin Fisher, president of the Vehicle Programs and Development group for Tata Technologies which itself is one of the 100 companies that make up the Tata Group. “Our objective was to find the right size for this type of electric vehicle with the appropriate range and speed, without reducing safety and daily usability.” Tata’s team attempted to balance vehicle cost of ownership with vehicle usage, innovation and technology, consumer features and usable interior space.

The resulting vehicle, the four-door eMO, has a projected cost of $20,000. The vehicle minimizes interior obstructions and the rear seating transforms into a flat space for cargo carrying. In designing the eMO, Tata Technologies applied for an impressive 15 patents for new technologies developed specifically for this vehicle. The vehicle’s powertrain is a liquid-cooled, dual-motor, front-wheel-drive system coupled with an air-cooled, 18.4-kilowatt, high-energy/density battery. The eMO is the first full vehicle created by an Indian Engineering Services Firm but the company hasn’t released plans to bring the eMO to market. “We developed it strictly as an engineering study with no particular automaker in mind,” says Fisher. “If there are auto companies interested in exploring the potential of the eMO, we would, of course, welcome that opportunity.”

+ Michelin Challenge Design

+ The eMO