Mahindra Reva electric car launch in April-May 2012

Mahindra is planning to launch its electric car, the Reva NXR in April 2012. The Reva NXR is an improved and more modern version of the Reva electric car that’s been around for 12 years, but hardly sells any significant numbers.

“We are at the final stages of development. The car would be ready for launch within six months,” Rajan Wadhera, Chief Executive of Technology, Mahindra & Mahindra was quoted as saying by IANS.

The Reva NXR will be a proper 4 seater car unlike the present Reva whose rear seat is rather tiny.

The NXR has been spotted testing in India in March 2011. The NXR is expected to be powered by either lead-acid or lithium ion batteries. As per the company, the range of the NXR (powered by lithium ion battery) will be 160 km per charge and the top speed will be 104 km/hr (similar to the Tata Nano).

mahindra reva nxr

There are speculations that the NXR would also be made available as a lead-acid battery variant with a range of 80 km per charge and maximum speed of 80 kmph.

Generally, lead-acid batteries are cheaper as against lithium-ion batteries. Hence, the Reva NXR may be available in two variants to give it more range.

The car would need eight hours to be fully charged using a standard household outlet. The car will feature Reva’s new REVive technology that acts like an invisible reserve fuel tank, if the drivers run out of charge. Primarily, the NXR will be ideal for city commuting.

Looks and comfort

The Reva NXR was showcased at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show. The car showcased was better looking than the Reva i. The test mules spotted in India were an exact replica of the NXR showcased in the Frankfurt Auto Show, but it did not have alloy wheels.

The styling of Reva NXR has been done by well-known Indian car designer Dilip Chabbria. The front of the NXR slightly resembles the Smart ForTwo. The Reva NXR sports only two doors.  The side profile reveals the short wheelbase of the NXR hence it is unclear whether there will be sufficient leg room for adults in the rear seat. The boot will likely be around 150 litres and may have a hatch as well.

Features

We expect features such as AC, power windows, power steering 12 V socket and audio player with speakers. Since the battery will be the source for both drivetrain and gadgets, the NXR may not have a long list of features.

Expected price

The price of the Reva NXR could be around Rs. 6 lakh. But, expect government subsidies for atleast a limited number of electric cars which may reduce the price of NXR substantially. Wadhera said electric cars in India are expensive because of the technology used, but the company is trying to develop it as a cost effective vehicle.

There is very little demand for electric cars in India despite the sky-rocketing petrol prices. This is primarily due to the unavailability of affordable electric cars and lack of infrastructure such as charging stations.

For a potential buyer, the price of the electric car must be at a par or slightly more than a regular petrol/diesel car. Hence, we have to wait and watch as how Mahindra prices the Reva NXR. Mahindra acquired the Reva Electric Car Company (RECC) in May 2010 from Maini Materials, who developed the original Reva back in 1998.