Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, a part of the US$ 16.9 billion Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), which plans to commercially launch its electric car, the e2O, in a number of European markets, is to launch the small eco-friendly car in London soon, possibly within a month's time.
Confirming the development to Autocar Professional today, Pravin Shah, president & chief executive (automotive), & member of the Group Executive Board, M&M, said: “Yes, absolutely! This is a great example under the government’s Make-In-India initiative. We are ready with the product. We plan to launch the Mahindra e2O in many European markets in the next few months, starting with London very soon.”
The company plans to sell the car on its own in the United Kingdom and looks forward to reap the benefits under the same tax structure and incentives that are offered to the other electric vehicle manufacturers there. “We will get the support and incentives as enjoyed by the other EV makers in the UK. We plan to distribute the e2O on our own,” added Shah.
M&M, which launched the e2O in March 2013, replacing the Reva electric car, had rolled out the premium variant of the e2O in August 2014. The premium variant, which offers a company-claimed range of 120km in a single charge, comes with the same set of 48V maintenance-free lithium ion battery pack that provides charge to the three-phase induction motor.
Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, which is estimated to have spent more than Rs 100 crore in the electric car project, has a production capacity of 30,000 units per annum at its Bangalore-based facility. “Mahindra Reva has one of the world's largest deployed fleets of electric cars – customers in 24 countries have driven their Reva and Mahindra e2o fuel-free for more than 200 million kilometres,” quotes the company website.
Mahindra Reva, which is still far from its breakeven, is known to have received some stimulus in its domestic sales after the government’s announcement (incentives to the buyers under the FAME scheme) that came on April 1, 2015. The company had even slashed the prices of its e2O variants by Rs 155,000 last year.
However, domestic sales of the Mahindra e2O continue to remain on the lower side. “For us the biggest concern is that EVs continue to be expensive due to the high cost of batteries and other components. A breakthrough is required to bring down the overall costs of EVs, and we can be certain that this breakthrough will happen. The challenge is how to convince the consumer that EVs are good for them, not only from the environment viewpoint, but also from the aspect of financial prudence,” Dr Pawan Goenka, executive director and president (automotive and farm sector), M&M had told Autocar Professional.
On the other hand, the plan to export the Mahindra e2O to European markets in a few months clearly comes as a piece of good news from the company, say market analysts.
This will, however, be the second European connect for India’s first electric car. The e20, in its previous avatar as the Reva, was previously sold in the UK in 2004 as the G-Wiz. It was retailed by GoinGreen and by 2010, there were around 1,000 Revas on London roads.
M&M acquired a majority stake in Reva Electric Car Company in May 2010, and later renamed it as Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles.
The Mahindra Group recently displayed the e2O Sport and the E-Verito at the Auto Expo 2016 in Greater Noida.
An Autocar India report on the two EVs says that, “The e2O Sport is an all-electric sportscar that packs a 107bhp powertrain which, according to Mahindra, helps the car complete the 0-100kph dash in 8 seconds. The e2O Sport is also capable of a maximum range of 200km on its fully charged 384V battery. The E-Verito is the zero-emissions version of the Verito sedan. It shares the electric drivetrain with Mahindra’s Reva, which produces a power output of 40bhp and 9.2kgm of torque.
"With a maximum range of 100km on a single charge, the E-Verito can achieve a top speed of 86kph. The car's top-end variant gets a quick-charge battery which can be fully topped up in just two hours. While the e20 Sport is a concept, the E-Verito will go on sale in March 2016 and will join the e2o in Mahindra’s current EV line-up.”