Issue: May 2010


Genovation Cars Selects Tata Technologies to Design and Prototype its Green Electric Automobile



by Steve Barclay

Genovation Cars, a Maryland designer and builder of environmentally friendly automobiles, recently announced that it has selected and contracted with Tata Technologies to design and prototype its G2 model. Tata Technologies was one of four design firms vying for the Genovation contract. Tata Technologies' parent company, Tata Motors, recently purchased the Jaguar and Land Rover automobile lines from Ford Motor Company.

The G2 model that Tata will develop will incorporate Genovation's research and development that went into its G1 model, an electric conversion of a Ford Focus. The conversion included the installation of an electric motor, battery string, battery management system, safety system, HVAC, controller and instrumentation.

"We are very pleased to be taking what progress we've made in developing an efficient and reliable electric car to the next level by having a company such as Tata involved," said Andrew Saul, CEO. "We feel they are the company to help us meet our objective of providing customers with safe, sustainable automobiles that do not compromise driving independence. And at the same time, help us become one of the premier providers of green automobiles in the U.S."

During the first phase of development, which will occur over a five-month period, Tata will provide Genovation with two design iterations to include two-door and four-door versions; two quarter-scale models; detailed time-line; and bill of material, aerodynamic analysis, and crash analyses.

Tata serves as the prime contractor and will sub-contract with Metalsa for the structural design and manufacturability analysis, and with Dana Thermal Products for the cars' thermal operations (electric systems cooling and cabin climate control).

Long term, it is Genovation's goal to operate from a business plan that attains profitability building only 1,000 units a year through manufacturing "pods" that require only a few robots, a departure from the Detroit manufacturing model. To achieve this goal Genovation plans to rely heavily on small teams of well-trained employees. "With this model, we can be nimble and market driven in order to react to where there is a demand and volume is achieved through deployment of multiple pods," said Mr. Saul.

Genovation was founded in 2007 by Mr. Saul. Other top company executives include Robert Irby, senior executive for manufacturing and operations, and Steven Rogers, president and chief technology officer.

Genovation plans to differentiate itself from its competition by better understanding and anticipating the requirements of its clientele; be it the suburban family concerned about spikes in the future cost of gas, green-conscious state/local government agencies, or corporations desiring a fleet of green electric cars.

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