Tuesday, March 19, 2013
By Pawan Rana
Mahindra Reva E20: Challenges and benefits
In politics, if an unknown fresh face contents from an altogether new constituency, he is called as parachute candidate. Calling the electric car Mahindra Reva E20 as a parachute candidate will not be an exaggeration. In a world when diesel and petrol cars only make it and more importantly when even diesel and petrol cars are presently struggling to make it, arrival of an electric car is untimely. Critics say that launch of an electric car in a market dominated by diesel and petrol cars is always untimely. However, the case is different with the e2O. It has entered a market that lacks any electric car and thus being the only electric car in India and that too at a price of Rs 5.96 lakh on road in New Delhi, the car is a sure winner.
But the question still remains unanswered. In a country that has a majority of its population living in villages and that too with only a few hour of power supply, will the launch of Reva e2o make a difference. If any of the villagers has heard about the electric cars the first question he must have put up would have been ‘Is there electricity to charge the electric car?’ Thus launching an electric car in a land of power cuts is really out of the box thinking.
The car no doubt has no immediate rival but it has all the diesel and petrol cars in India as its competitors. Right from the small car Tata Nano to all other small cars are its rivals. But truly the car will be able to utilize its 500 units per month capacity as the car has lot of improvements over its nine year old variant Reva. The E20 has all that a small car buyer needs. In addition to this the car promises under 50 paisa per kilometer running charges and now that it has improved battery it can go up to 100 kms in one full charge. This means that the car fulfills all the daily commutation needs of any of the city people as on average the daily commutation is not more than 80 kilometers. In addition to this, the car maker will be initially setting up 100 charging stations each in New Delhi and in Mumbai and there after charging the E20 will be easier.
Another challenge in front of Mahindra e2o is the mindset. Still people consider petrol or diesel cars as more dependable than electric cars despite of the fact that there are high maintenance costs involved. But the E20 will be able to change the opinion of people with its almost no maintenance. If one installs a 3m x 3m solar panel charging station then the E20 will have no electricity costs involved. Yet another challenge that E20 will have to face is the price. A petrol car of this size such as Tata Nano comes at around Rs 1.5 lakh or so while a diesel car with a mileage of around 25 kmpl comes around Rs 4 lakh. But this too Reva E20 will be able to overcome once people start buying it and there are more satisfied customers.
Furthermore, the Reva e2o is a two door car. Though it has a seating for four people but initial reviews predict that the rear seats aren’t sufficient for three. Thus the Reva is only for small family of four people. What people want from a car is that it should be all in one. So the Reva car will be able to meet the city driving needs of small family car buyers.