NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tata Motors ( TTM) ADRs surged 3.7% to $18.40 after the Indian automaker unveiled the electric version pictured above of its Nano "people's car" at the 80th Geneva International Motor Show. The Tata Nano Electric Vehicle -- or Tata Nano EV -- will seat four and is expected to have a range of up to 160 kilometers (or 100 miles) and an acceleration of 0 to 60 kilometers per hour (0 to 37 miles per hour ) in under 10 seconds. The vehicle will run on lithium ion batteries. "Electrification will be an integral part of our initiative to launch environment-friendly vehicles," Tata Motors Vice Chairman Ravi Kant said. The company hasn't specified when the electric Nano will be coming to the U.S. and Europe. Its predecessor, the Nano, has been dubbed the world's cheapest car at a price of around $2,500.
The Tata Nano EV
The Nano is now being delivered to the first 100,000 customers in India, and could reach the U.S. market within three years, its chairman Ratan Tata said earlier this year. The U.S. model however would likely include modifications, like larger engines to appeal to the U.S. market. Tata's stock has been steadily climbing over the past 52 weeks, up about 444% during that period. Reflected in this increase is Tata's report that its total sales, including exports, of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles in February were 69,427 vehicles, a growth of 58% over the 43,811 vehicles sold in February 2009.
The Tata Nano EV
About 1.7 million Tata shares are changing hands midday Friday versus Tata's three-month average trading volume of about 1.4 million. Tata peers have advanced in midday trading as well. Toyota ( TM) ADRs have risen 1.4% to $76.50 and Daimler ( DAI) stock has jumped 3.2% to $44.90. S&P on Thursday reiterated its hold opinion on Toyota, given its reduced visibility, while raising its fiscal year 2011 earnings estimate by $1.06 to $3.25. S&P has also raised its price target for Toyota by $8 to $90. "February new vehicle sales exceeded expectations, but we still expect TM to pay a price, both reputationally and literally, as it works to regain consumer trust," S&P analyst Efraim Levy noted. Levy raised his guidance and price target "with our outlook for improving global demand, and on TM's continued cost cutting, albeit weighed down by vehicle quality concerns and related increases in marketing costs." -- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York