The rising price of fuel often makes one think about alternative fuels and our dependency on the precious black gold. The Mahindra E20 has come at just the right time. Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles which is a part of the large Mahindra Group, recently announced the launch of a new electric car – the Mahindra E20.
With the E20, Mahindra is set on the path to explore a new area in personal mobility that will usher in the next generation of cars. The Mahindra E20 will not however, be the first electric car to be launched in India. In the early 2000's, Mahindra launched the Mahindra Reva. Unfortunately the Reva did not appeal to Indian customer as much as desired. With the new E20, Mahindra hopes to do better in the Indian automobile market.
The Mahindra E20, code named Reva NXR, offers more than the previous electric car models. As compared to the REVA, the Mahindra E20 is more spacious and can seat four people. Much like its petrol and diesel-based competitors in the market, the Mahindra E20 comes with air conditioning, a music system and power steering. The Mahindra E20 is a powerful electric car that can reach speeds of up to 104 kilometres per hour and can be driven for close to 160 kilometres on a single charge of the lithium-ion batteries which take approximately 8 hours to charge fully.
The REVA failed in the Indian market for two main reasons – the design that failed to appeal and the high cost. This time Mahindra is taking no chances, making sure the new Mahindra E20 has all the features needed to appeal to the market. Designed by famous car designer, Dilip Chabbria, the Mahindra E20 has an appealing design, comes with three battery options of small, medium and large and the option to charge the batteries quickly in case time is a constraint. It also goes an extra mile using the Sun2Car technology, using solar energy.
The Mahindra E20 will be produced in the Mahindra manufacturing facility in Bangalore and will be launched in the Indian market in February 2013. The pricing of the car has not yet been revealed. However, if industry sources are to be believed, the Mahindra E20 will cost 20 percent more than the existing REVAi sold at about 4.87lacs INR (Approx 8800 USD). The recent announcement of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 by the Government allows for incentives and subsidies for electric cars in a bid to create and support electric vehicles. While the figures are not exactly clear, it is estimated that the Mahindra E20 may receive a subsidy of about 1 to 1.5 lac INR (approx 1800 USD).
The Mahindra E20 will compete with fuel cars in its price range, with the closest being the Hyundai i10. While the Mahindra E20 does pack in a lot of power and promise, its success largely depends on its performance and the perception of electric cars in the minds of the customers.