General Motors on Thursday showcased the electric version of its hatchback Chevrolet Beat as part of the company's ‘tailored for India' demo programme for battery electric technology. The U.S. carmaker also said it had shelved the ultra low-cost car project due to viability issues, while it planned to launch the Beat diesel variant next month.

The Chevrolet Beat battery electric vehicle (BEV) is powered by a 300 cell lithium-ion battery that allows the car to run at least 130 km under normal driving conditions.

“The demonstration vehicle will be used by GM India to showcase the effectiveness of battery electric vehicle technology in India,” GM India President and Managing Director Karl Slym told reporters here. Notably, GM has already announced demonstration programmes in Korea, China and Germany.

Meanwhile, Mr. Slym said GM India had shelved plans to launch a small car to take on Tata Motors' Nano'.

“It (the small car) was under discussion when the Rs.1 lakh car (Nano) came in. The small car was looked to be positioned below our existing entry level compact car Spark.

“But now we have reached a decision point that it is not right for us,” he said.

On future plans, Mr. Slym said GM India was planning to launch the Beat's diesel variant next month, while by next year-end they would introduce five new models and 14 different variants. All these models would be showcased in the Auto Expo early next year.

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