Mahindra confirms E20 electric car launch on March 18

The Mahindra E20 will finally be launched on March 18 at New Delhi. After months of waiting for some subsidies from the Government, and seeing none forthcoming in the recent Budget to promote the use of electric cars, Mahindra has decided to go ahead with the launch anyway on March 18.

Reva-nxr charging

The Mahindra E20 (formerly called the Reva NXR) will be the country’s only private passenger electric car at the moment, although there are electric vans and three-wheeled transport as well as electric two wheelers already selling. Also read: Mahindra E2O price to be fixed after budget

Pricing is going to be a key part of the success of the Mahindra E2O. Given that there have been no subsidies for electric vehicles in the Budget, (Mahindra was hoping for a subsidy of Rs. 1.5 lakh per vehicle), it will have to price the car at a bit of a premium, compared to petrol-powered hatchbacks like the Maruti Wagon-R and Hyundai i10. These were the vehicles that Mahindra was benchmarking the E20 against. Also see: Mahindra Reva NXR video

What’s special about the Mahindra E2O

The Mahindra E20 is a four-seater, two door hatchback powered by an electric motor powered by a Lithium ion battery pack. The car has a range of 100 km on a full charge. It features some innovative technology such as Sun2Car, which is an optional solar charger that can be bought with the car, to keep it charging when it is parked in the sun during a work day. Otherwise, the car can be charged by a standard 220 volt, 15 amp, household power socket as well. It takes about 8 hours for a full charge, but about 1 hour for a quick charge for about 50% range. There is some backup charge available from regenerative braking as well.

The vehicle features three drive modes – Reverse, forward and boost, with the last one increasing pick up, but draining battery faster. It has a top-speed of 80 kmph, good enough for most cities.

It is also loaded with features. It comes with air conditioning and an interactive display with an android app. The app allows users to control the charging status of the car, set charging times, turn on the AC of the car before you reach it to cool it down, and view its status at all times. It also has built in GPS and navigation, allowing a user to plan his route keeping in mind the limited range of the car. Also read:Mahindra Reva NXR exclusive spy shots

The Mahindra E20 is being produced at the company’s plant in Bangalore, which has a capacity to produce 30,000 cars per year. It has a fibre-glass body to save weight, but this is draped over a steel skeleton that has met European and Indian crash test norms, making it as good or even better than a regular petrol-powered car. It will ideally suit those who have limited driving distances of about 40-50 km a day in congested cities. It will be available in only three cities at launch – New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

It’s going to be interesting to review this vehicle on CarToq. Watch this space.