If you’ve been looking for a car that has very little maintenance, gives awesome fuel economy and low running cost of 80 paise per km and is loaded with features priced at under Rs. 6 lakh on-road, we now have an answer. The Mahindra E20 electric car that’s priced at Rs. 5.96 lakh on-road Delhi!
Wait a minute – electric car – how far will it go? That’s a question that straight away pops up. And it’s nothing new in electric car parlance, it’s called “range anxiety”. But here’s the thing, this Mahindra E20 (formerly called the Reva NXR) can do 100 km on a full charge. Also read: Mahindra e2o first drive impression: Peppy, convenient city car
One more automatic, competitive price
It comes at an on-road Delhi price (not ex-showroom) of Rs. 5.96 lakh. It’s available in two variants (T0 and T2), with the top-end at Rs. 6.4 lakh on-road Delhi. The difference between the two is the infotainment system and its functions only. Considering the Mahindra e2o is an automatic car, that can seat four adults, it’s pretty competitively priced against the Honda Brio and Hyundai i10 automatic. And it has more features than these popular hatchbacks.
So the only big difference between a Hyundai i10 automatic and a Mahindra e2o is the power train. The Mahindra e2o is powered by a 19kw motor (about 26 bhp in comparable petrol car terms) that is good for a range of 100 km. It puts out 53 Nm of torque from 0-3,400 rpm. It takes 5 hours to charge fully and a one hour charge can give it a range of about 20 km. This makes it an ideal city commuter car for those who drive about 50-60 km a day. It features regenerative braking, which allows you to put back some charge in the batteries each time you brake.
All those who were looking at low running costs and wanted a car to do about 1000 km a month, with daily running of 50-60 km, this car is one to put on your shopping lists as well. Also read: All you wanted to know about hybrid car conversions in India
Loaded with convenience features
What makes the Mahindra E2O incredible value is the number of features this tiny four-seater is loaded with. It comes with an effective AC, touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, GPS-navigation, JBL speakers and tweeters, reverse camera, push button ignition, power mirrors, two power windows and projector headlamps. Not many hatchbacks at the same price point can boast of the same features. The TO variant doesn’t have the JBL infotainment system and reverse camera, but has all the other functionality. What it doesn’t have is power steering (since it’s a rear motor, rear-wheel drive), but the steering is quite easy to handle, as it’s a very light car with an ABS-plastic panel body on a steel space frame.
There is a mobile app that allows you to talk to the car remotely to find out range, charging levels etc. It can also plot shortest routes for you. You can lock and unlock your car using the mobile, as well as turn the AC on so that the car is cool by the time you get in to drive. It also has hill-hold function which prevents the car rolling back on slopes.
Good build quality
It has a compact turning radius of 3.9 metres. Legroom and headroom is good in the front seats, with good build quality. Yes, when you close the doors, they don’t go “thunk”, but instead make a “thwack” sound as it’s made of ABS plastic that is dent and scratch resistant. It has a tubular chassis that has passed crash tests successfully. Also see: Mahindra Reva NXR video
The most eco-friendly car
Another big reason this car would make sense, is its bragging rights of being truly eco-friendly. There are not exhaust gases, no need for petrol or diesel and no oil changes required, as there’s no oil! Open the bonnet and all you see is a spare tyre and jack, as well as the fluids for the coolant and windshield washer.
The car is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that has a charge cycle life of over 5000 charges. Which means, even if you charge the car once a day, it has a lifespan of over 10 years. But given real-world conditions, even if this lasts five to six years, it is worth the money spent, as your only expense on the car is about eight units of electricity to charge it, which should cost you about Rs. 80 for 100 km!
And then there’s the charging technologies to show off. If you want to reduce your running costs even more, you could invest in a solar charger that costs about Rs. 1 lakh, but has a life span of nearly 30 years. This panel can be installed at your home and power the house as well as the car. Called Sun2Car, it provides virtually free electricity.
If you have a power cut at home, the car can also be a backup. It can be used as an inverter to power your home for up to two days!
What we think
The Mahindra E2O is not a conventional car and if you think you need a car that has to carry luggage and do highway trips, then this is not for you. This car is for those who want a car strictly for urban use, with a daily drive of about 50-60 km a day. Being an automatic it’s incredibly convenient to drive and has all the creature comforts you want. If you have a budget of Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 6.5 lakh for a car that will serve this very purpose of daily driving (perhaps as a second or third car in the family), it is one to seriously consider. Also read: Running costs of Mahindra e20 vs Chevrolet Beat diesel vs Hyundai i10 automatic compared