Finally, after a whole lot of speculations and a long wait, Mahindra Reva has unveiled its full-fledged electric passenger car, e2o on Monday, 18th of March.
Initially Mahindra wanted to wait till the Union budget to launch the car, in the hope of the subsidy announcement for the electric vehicles as the Indian government showed great interest in green vehicles and its impact on the environment as well as fossil fuel conservation. However, when the government did not announce any such subsidy, Mahindra Reva decided to go ahead with the launch, and the car has come out with a price tag of Rs 5.96 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) without any subsidy in place that could have reduced the price.
The subsidy that was offered by the Indian government on electric vehicles expired in March 2012, following which the sales of electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers declined almost by 50%.
The Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra regretted this lack of help from the government to enhance electric vehicle sales and thus improve the overall economic conditions of the Electric Vehicle industry. He says that Mahindra does not want to base its future sales on subsidies. But it would have been good if there was some help from the government, as he added that the price of the car would have been lower if the subsidies still continued.
The first phase of the National Electric vehicle Mission policy, where the government has allocated funds worth Rs20,000 crore for the development of the electric vehicles industry is expected to come into act later this year.
The wonder car e2o was first showcased by Mahindra Reva as the NXR (codename) at the Delhi Auto Expo in 2012. Mahindra & Mahindra changed the name to e2o which stands for ‘energy to oxygen’ and which also follows the tradition of all Mahindra models’ names that end with ‘o’.
The e2o will be much more efficient with the usage of the next generation Lithium Ion batteries that would provide a range of 100 km on a single charge. Mahindra Reva is very confident about the success of this brand new product in the Indian car market that is struck by the exorbitant fossil fuel costs.
The Chief of Strategy & Technology, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, Chetan Maini claims that the e2o is four-times more efficient compared to the other cars in the same range. Before its acquirement by Mahindra, Reva had produced its first electric car Reva-i, which has now been discontinued by the company. Mahindra Reva will begin exporting the e2o units by early next year, starting with European countries. Maini adds that the company sees potential in neighboring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka as import duties on electric vehicles are quite low in these countries.
The e20 is being produced at the Mahindra Reva’s Bangalore plant and the company is hopeful to sell around 400 to 500 units per month. The car is available in around 25 dealerships across eight cities at present and would make a nationwide appearance in due time.