The UK-based Ultra Motor Company has pulled out of a technical collaboration with the Munjals of the Hero group for the electric two-wheeler company, Hero Ultra Pvt Ltd.

The Nano, the Rs 1 lakh vehicle from the Tata Motors stable, has found an unexpected champion - the environmental group, Worldwatch.

A student of CT Institute of Engineering, Management and Technology, Jalandhar, (CTIEMT) demonstrated a car designed by him made from recycled waste parts collected from a junkyard.

As part of its long term strategy, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) is considering moving out its small-car design centre to India. However, at present, no time line has been charted out.

The Budget provision to cut duty on hybrid cars from 24% to 14% is a step in the right direction to make them more affordable in India, thereby increasing their quicker adoption by people.

As improved hybrid, clean-diesel, electric and other green powertrain technologies proliferate, manufacturers are investing in the next-generation cars we will drive in five, 10 or 15 years' time.

They spent two years sifting through scrapyards to find appropriate material for the car. The creator of the common man's car Ratan Tata might be interested in reading this. Inspired by the cult reality show American Choppers where a father and son team create custom-made motorbike masterpieces out of parts of scrap, a group of five teenagers in Ahmedabad have used otherwise unusable scrap material to create a ready-to-drive four-wheeler for Rs 11,000. The students, Aditya Sen (16), Debanshu Samanta (17), Purna Singh (14), Sukanya Rajgopal (12) and Jaidev Singh (13), who study at Delhi Public School (DPS) and Anand Niketan School, spent two years sifting through scrap yards in the city to find appropriate materials for the car. As opposed to the accepted norm of creating a car design first and building it subsequently, the students had no rough sketch of the vehicle when they started out and built it up according to the materials they could gather. The rear window of the car has been sourced from a Fiat 1965 model. A Kinetic scooter and TVS Scooty's tyres make up the wheels of the car. The petrol tank is an unusable old geyser from a neighbour's home which has been connected to a gutter pipe and stuck with strong adhesive. The tank has a 3-4 litre capacity. A 125cc Honda engine ripped off from a Kinetic scooter is the vehicle's engine. In fact, other than a hydraulic brake, every other component of the car is scrap material. Although the commercial viability of the vehicle is not on the cards at the moment, Aditya Sen said the group had written to Ratan Tata explaining how the car was put together. While RTO regulations prohibit the use of an unapproved vehicle on the road for safety reasons, the car has interested officials of Anand Niketan School who have agreed to fund the groups second venture which is creation of an eco-friendly four-wheeler. "The students are keen to develop a solar-powered car for which I have already ordered solar panels from China which should be delivered within a month,' said Kamal Mangal, head trustee, Anand Niketan School.

INNOVATION Minister Kim Carr will launch a concerted push to secure production of hybrid cars for Australia when he meets senior executives of Toyota in Tokyo tomorrow. Senator Carr will brief the senior management of Toyota in Japan about the Rudd Government's review of the automotive industry being undertaken by former Victorian premier Steve Bracks. The Government is keen to use its proposed $500 million green car fund to convince Toyota to set up production of hybrid vehicles

This column was the first to mention that the compressed air powered engine was on its way to Tata Motors, for use in a small car, and now the Tatas have confirmed this in a separate news report. Obviously, it will not be the only engine of choice in the Tata Nano (or any other small motor vehicle being developed by them right now, either), but it will certainly be an option for city taxies and short-run small cargo vehicles. This should, with any luck, convince the armada of environmentalists and greens. And bring the subject of a small vehicle back to the core issue: increased mobility is good for the nation as well as the people. Whether they use public transport as the mainstay or not, is another issue. Which brings me to the next point

The driver of the car shows the gas cannister stored in the trunk of the car. The Minister of Environment, Energy and Water Ahmed Abdulla has welcomed the fact that Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was being used to power a taxi for the first time in Maldives.