By: Jordana Levine
The Tata Nano, launched in March 2009, is by far the cheapest car on the market, costing a mere $2,500. It gets an average of 57mpg — and with careful driving can get up to 67mpg, which is better than almost any car on the road; the Toyota Prius gets 48mpg driving in the city – and even the SmartCar can’t compete, getting 33mpg on city streets and 41mpg on the highway.
The Nano is in high demand; the first 100,000 cars produced will be distributed through a lottery. Although the cars are cheap, customers are expected to pay deposits totalling up to $1 billion if they want to get their hands on the first batch of Nanos. Also, while the basic Nano is only $2500, it is likely that the majority of the cars sold will be the more upscale models since the basic one doesn’t even include air conditioning or cup holders.
There are expected to be up to 300,000 Nanos on the roads in India by 2010, and although the car is exceptionally fuel efficient, critics are worried about the traffic and noise and air pollution that the sudden increase in cars could create. Hopefully this innovation will help the environment, though, rather than hurt it, by providing developing countries with affordable cars that conserve fuel.
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2 “The new people’s car.” The Economist. 28 Mar 2009.
3 “Tata ‘NANO’ – The People’s Car from Tata Motors.” 2008. http://tatanano.inservices.tatamotors.com/tatamotors/index.php?option=com_whynano&task=features&Itemid=301
4 “The new people’s car.”
5 “Tata Motors rolls out Nano, the world’s cheapest car.” The Associated Press. 10 Jan 2008. http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2008/01/10/nano-tata.html