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11 Jan 2008 04:01:22

'World's cheapest car' faces pollution criticisms

'World's cheapest car' faces pollution criticisms
Indian car manufacturer Tata has unveiled the world's cheapest car, but the launch has been met with criticism from environmentalists who claim the new vehicle will add to carbon emissions.

The Tata Nano will be available for £1,250 and its developers claim that the vehicle has a high level of fuel efficiency and will also meet carbon emission targets greater than those required by the European Union.

However, environmentalists have expressed their concern about the impact on climate change of millions of the vehicles taking to the road.

"This car promises to be an environmental disaster of substantial proportions," Daniel Esty, an expert from Yale University, told Newsweek.

Daniel Sperling, a transport expert from the University of California, added: "Every new purchase of this vehicle is increasing fuel use [per passenger] by a factor of two to seven, depending on how many people are in the car."

The vehicle's potential impact on congestion and air pollution in India's cities has also been questioned, with Rajendra K. Pachauri, a UN climate panel representative, telling AFP that the Nano represented a "bankruptcy of policy".ADNFCR-1235-ID-18423621-ADNFCR

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