A hybrid version of the Tata Nano is on the way, says to the Indian carmaker’s chairman, Ratan Tata.

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Tata told The Maeil Business Newspaper of South Korea that he believes the "low-price revolution" will be the future of his company and the global automotive industry, and said that demand for low-end products in India would be well above that of more expensive high-end goods.

Tata would not speculate further over possible production or launch details of the hybrid Nano, with plans still believed to be in the early stages.

Delivery of the current Nano, known widely as the world’s cheapest car at 100,000 rupees (AUD$2350), began in July this year.

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Weighing just 600kg, it is unlikely the hybrid Nano will get a full hybrid system with an electric motor and battery pack capable of powering the car for long distances.

Start/stop engine technology and braking regeneration are two possibilities to extend the car’s range, and may be combined with a diesel engine which is in a more advanced stage of planning.

Or perhaps Tata could take inspiration from fellow Indian manufacturer Tara International which sells an all-electric car for 99,000 rupees, 1000 less than the Nano.

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The Tara Titu is powered by a 3kW electric motor and can run for 120km on a single eight hour charge, albeit at a top speed of 50km/h.
 
Both cars are currently available only in India, but Tata plans to export an updated, more powerful version of the Nano to Europe by 2011.