(Tata Nano electric vehicle poll updated with additional background information on other electric vehicles coming soon from other automakers.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- One of the more intriguing exhibits at the 80th Geneva auto show, which began last week, was the electric version of the famously inexpensive Tata ( TTM) Nano.

Like its predecessor, the Tata Nano Electric Vehicle (EV) pictured above is compact, yet big enough to fit four people. Some consider it best-suited to be a city car, fitting, as it does, comfortably in small parking spaces.

Drivers of the lithium-battery car would also, presumably, more readily find outlets for recharging in the city. Thus, some have speculated that the Nano EV could set a new benchmark for affordable, environmentally friendly cars.

Given that the electric Nano's gasoline-powered predecessor costs a mere $2,500, TheStreet wondered whether this new Nano could be equally as cheap -- or at least cheaper than the electric cars currently found in the U.S. market.

After speaking with Morningstar analyst Anil Daka, the answer to that question appears to be yes. "It's probably going to be much cheaper than anything else out there, but you need to start from the scratch right?" Daka notes.

Indeed, if one guesstimates the price of a Nano EV export based on the approximated price of its predecessor, then factor in the added costs of bringing the car to the U.S. and adding on the lithium batteries, it would be a far more expensive car than the "people's" Nano -- but still a pretty good deal.

It's important to note that Tata would more likely than not see additional costs just to ensure that the Nano EV passes U.S. environmental and crash tests, among other requirements. For example, the car would need to be stiffer to pass the crash tests and the engine would need to improve from a two- to three-cylinder engine to allow its drivers access to our nation's highways.

That means that -- excluding lithium batteries -- Tata would need to spend another $2,000 to $3,000 to bring the car to the U.S, Daka says. Then add the $3,000 to $4,000 dollars of additional costs to fit in the battery pack.

By Daka's calculation, this all adds up to an electric Nano with a roughly estimated price tag of around $8,000 to $10,000. That's still, of course, significantly cheaper than, say, Toyota's (TM - Get Report) gas-electric hybrid 2010Prius, which is priced at more than $20,000, and the much-anticipated GM plug-in electric Chevrolet Volt, which has a reported price tag of $40,000.

Another eagerly awaited electric vehicle that could soon come to the U.S. is Nissan's ( NSANY) Leaf, which Nissan's chief Carlos Ghosn says faces virtually zero competition as it enters the market and will exhibit the largest capacity to make new vehicles compared to all the other automakers trying to introduce an electric car to the market, according to cars.com. The report also says that while Nissan plans to start shipping out the Leaf by the year's end, the automaker is aiming for a production capacity of 500,000 vehicles in North America, Japan and Europe by 2012.

Ultimately, a Nano EV export would probably be cheaper than most any electric vehicle currently on the market. But based on Morningstar's guesstimated price, would it be cheap enough for you to choose it over the other possibilities out there? Take out poll, and see what TheStreet thinks -- and don't hesitate to leave a comment, while you're at it.

Based on Morningstar's estimated price, would you choose a Tata Motors' proposed electric car over the other electric car options?

Yes -- the Tata Nano EV sounds like a good deal.
No -- it's still a bit pricey and the size is just too small.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York


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