SainikPod electric cab is the Tata Nano EV that never was [Update]

The dream of a commuting in a Tata Nano EV has been realized, though individual customers cannot purchase it and this is not a Tata Motors product. It’s available for cab rides via SainikPod Sit & Go, a new app-free mobility service from MotherPod Innovations and Electra EV, in Bengaluru.

MotherPod Innovations, a government-recognized startup, is a Bengaluru-based mobility solutions provider managed by defence veterans (ex-servicemen). The company has launched Electric SainikPod in partnership with Electra EV, the company which supplies the electric powertrain for the Tata Tigor EV. It appears that used Tata Nano cars have been purchased and retrofitted with an electric drivetrain, then pressed into operations.

The Tata Nano EV taxi has an availability indicator on the roof, and it is shaded green to go with the car’s eco-friendly character. To use the SainikPod Sit & Go service, one has to flag down an available car, and give a missed call to the number provided. The idea is to make hiring a taxi fuss-free, and so, there’s no mobile app usage involved. This can be very convenient for customers who want to use an electric taxi but don’t prefer smartphone apps, particularly the elderly.

For customer safety, the SainikPod electric cars are equipped with an acrylic partition that allows maintaining the recommended social distance between the driver and passenger(s). There’s also a panic button that can be useful during emergencies. Each taxi is tracked using a smart meter installed and a speed governor ensures that the driver doesn’t break traffic laws. The passenger interior section is sanitised after each trip.

The Jayem-badged Nano EV prototype called Neo that was displayed at an event last year had a 17.7 kWh battery pack that gave a range of 203 km, and it could achieve a top speed of 85 km/h. The Nano EV MotherPod Innovations has deployed comes with different specifications. The company says that the SainikPod Sit & Go cars can do a range of 120 km on a single charge. Electra EV has provided the customised technology behind the EV based on the Tata Nano platform.