The launch of the Mahindra Reva NXR, now being called the Mahindra E2O (ee-two-oh), has been delayed by a couple of months. The vehicle
was to be launched in November this year, but now it is likely to be launched only in January.
The company hasn’t given any reasons for the delay, but a source says it is still being extensively tested. Another indicated that Mahindra
is lobbying for a policy change with the government to extend benefits to electric cars. The Ministry of new and renewable energy had provided a subsidy of Rs. 1 lakh on electric cars and Rs. 5000 on electric scooters till April 2012, which made these vehicles a lot more affordable, but the scheme was withdrawn. The subsidy was to be replaced by a National Electric Mobility Plan that had cash subsidies, building electric charging infrastructure and offering financing for electric vehicles as part of it. But this plan that was to be introduced in 2012, has not yet been introduced, making it almost unviable for electric scooter and carmakers to introduce vehicles. Also read: Mahindra Reva NXR exclusive spy shots
The Mahindra E2O, for instance, has a lot of hi-tech componentry which increases its purchase price. At launch, it is likely to be priced at around Rs. 5 lakh, primarily because its long range model (160 km on a single charge) has a lithium ion battery pack, which is expensive compared to
conventional lead-acid batteries that have an 80 km range. Government subsidies or cuts in excise duty on batteries would allow for lower pricing and more incentives for consumers to go electric.
The Mahindra E2O is currently undergoing a series of tests. The car boasts of several unique features, which will make it quite handy in
small cities, for daily commuting of 60-80 km, as it has a range of 160 km and test vehicles apparently have been consistently clocking 120 plus km in normal conditions.
It is spacious enough to seat four adults and drives like a regular hatchback. It will be equipped with several innovative charging options
such as Sun2Car – which is a trickle charger that charges the cars battery when it is parked in the sun. It has a quick charge facility too, where a 15 minute charge gives it a range of about 25 km, enough to get home or to another charging point if needed. A full six to eight hour charge gives it a full range of 160 km.
And another useful innovation that the car is its ability to be used as a UPS during a power cut to power your house! The car will come with
full mobile phone integration and an app that will allow you to control charging functions and view the status of the car on your phone at all times. Also see: Mahindra Reva NXR video
The launch of the Mahindra E2O is now scheduled for January going by the company’s word of “a couple of months” – or within this financial year (which means by March) – as the company said it will be launched “this year”, when we last checked with them. Watch this space.