Living with a Mahindra e20: Day-1 report, full of little surprises

Electric cars immediately churn up questions of range anxiety. And people are still quite hesitant in buying one, because they aren’t sure of how it fits into their everyday routine. So we at CarToq are seeing how it is to go electric.

The bright green Mahindra e20 landed up at my residence in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi on Thursday evening, with 81% charge remaining, good enough for a range of about 80 km. With the Mahindra e20, also came a handy android mobile app that allows you to see the state of charge, start and stop charging, turn on the AC, plan your trip etc. Also read: Mahindra e20 first drive impression

Living with a Mahindra e20: Day-1 report, full of little surprises

Once I had been given a full demonstration of the car and the mobile app, I offered to drive the gentleman from Mahindra Reva back to Mahindra’s regional office in Bikaji Cama Place. After which, I decided I’d go about a range of errands in the South Delhi area, allowing me to deplete the battery enough for a proper recharge. I found that a round trip of 15 km with the AC on full time, music running and stop and go traffic, the car only consumed 16% battery. After a few more errands were completed, I had successfully got the charge level down to 35%.

Rigging up a charging point for Mahindra e2o

Now charging a Mahindra e2o in a multi-apartment colony scenario is a tricky situation, since our colony does not have designated parking spots, nor is there access to any 15 amp plug, with proper earthing in the area. To ensure I could charge the Mahindra e20, I rigged up a 30-metre heavy duty cable with a 15-amp plug on one end and socket at the other. This was long enough to reach all the way down from the dining room in my first-floor apartment to the car park.

Living with a Mahindra e20: Day-1 report, full of little surprises

Charging the Mahindra e20 took only 3.3 hours (according to the E20 Mobile app), and approximately about 5 units of electricity, although the overnight consumption also included lights and fans in the house.

A full-day’s drive

Come Friday morning, and I had a challenge ahead of me. The distance between my home and office is 34 km one way, a round-trip of about 68 km, and I also had planned a small detour for some photographs, as well as about 15-16 km of driving around Noida to shoot video footage. Could the Mahindra e20 handle it?

Nevertheless, I set out on a full 100% charge with the AC on. I even used Boost mode on the Mahindra e20 to quickly pull away from traffic signals (to the stunned looks of some regular car drivers). That’s the thing about this tiny motor on the E20, that makes only about 25.3 bhp of power and 53 Nm of torque. It is the way  the torque is delivered – peak torque from 1 rpm onward that makes electric cars kind of fun, although it has its limits. The 53 Nm of torque is as much as a Tata Nano offers. However, the Mahindra e20 is heavier, but yet it surprises when needed.

Watch this video clip of what the Mahindra e2o can do on a flyover with boost mode. Top-speed is a claimed 81 kmph, but given the road, it hit 87 kmph even after shifting out of Boost and back to F (Forward) mode.

Despite that dash of full power and constant AC usage, I reached my office with 66% charge remaining (Regenerative braking puts back some charge on downhill slopes if you let off the throttle fully). We then proceeded to shoot some footage and drive it around Noida, again using Boost mode on multiple occasions. After about 16 km of driving, charge was down to 48%. Fortunately, we had a 15-amp connection rigged up at office as well. Blame it on range anxiety, but I succumbed to the temptation and decided to juice up the Mahindra e20 to 100% again for the drive back, with headlamps and AC. The 34 km return trip with AC, lights and use of boost mode three to four times, used up 36% battery, with 64% remaining.

Well, tomorrow is another day. We’ll do the round of crowded market places and throw in a longer distance, without succumbing to the temptation to charge it midway.

ALSO READ: Living with a Mahindra e20, Day-2 report, Anxious Moments 

ALSO READ: Living with a Mahindra e20, Day-3 report, The Urban Runabout