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India’s first 4-seater electric car may be the first to be exported to China

 From Business StandardMarch 19, 2013

Business Standard – With the e2o homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra could drive where no Indian firm has driven. The country's only all-electric four-seater passenger car could well become the first vehicle from India to set sail for Chinese shores.

Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles (MREV), which launched the e2o in India today, is developing a variant of the electric car for exports scheduled to commence in early 2014. While the export variant would be first shipped to countries in the European region, MREV is additionally looking at opportunities to tap the growing market for electric vehicles in China.

Chetan Maini, chief of strategy and technology, MREV, said, "The export variant would be ready by early next year. We are looking at exporting the e2o to all markets we previously exported the Revai. We will also explore possibilities in China." Nearly half of the 4,750 units of the Revai manufactured since inception were sold in around 24 countries mostly across Europe and West Asia. Developed by Reva Electric Car Company (now renamed Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles) as the NXR, the e2o will replace the existing REVAi.

Abdul Majeed, partner and leader (automotive practice), Pricewaterhousecoopers said, "It makes a lot of sense for auto makers to start exploring export opportunities in China. It is a huge market. Chinese customers are willing to experiment new products. If a product is good, it shouldn't be difficult to position it vis-a-vis competition in the short to mid term." According to industry estimates the Chinese market has the potential to sell around five million electric vehicles by the end of the decade.

The e2o was launched today by Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) priced at Rs 5.96 lakh (on road, Delhi). The price of the e2o will vary in different states according to the subsidies provided by respective statement government. Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, said, "If the incentive as outlined by the government under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan had come through, it would have given a push to sales of electric vehicles. But we have gone ahead with the launch as we have believe we have a viable proposition."

The on-road price in Delhi includes subsidy of around 29% on the base price of the vehicle provided by the state government. The concessions include 15% subsidy as provided by the state government on the price of the vehicle, VAT refund of 12.5% and a 50% reduction in road tax to two% for registering the vehicle.

It is the most cost efficient car to own in India. Pawan Goenka, chairman, MREV, said, "The operating costs of e2o is 50 paise per km as compared to running costs of Rs5-6 per km of a petrol car. On driving an average of 1200 km every month, a customer would be able to realize savings in fuel cost of about Rs 75,000 every year. We will feel good if we are able to sell 400-500 units of the e2o per month."

The car will be launched across eight cities – Delhi, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Cochin, Hyderabad and Bangalore – over the next three to four weeks. MREV has set up 253 charging stations in public places across these locations as support infrastructure for the vehicle.

The e2o is the first vehicle from the Bangalore-based company after it was acquired by the Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra in 2010.

The car is powered by lithium ion batteries and would have a minimum range 100kms per charge. The e2o can be fully charged in five hours through any 15 amp plug point at home or at the workplace. The e2o consumes 10 units of electricity.In addition, the Mahindra e2o is capable of using the futuristic ecosystem of 'Sun2Car' to derive energy from the sun to charge the vehicle, while helping to protect and preserve the environment.

The car will be built at the MREV's facility in Bengaluru which has the capacity to produce 30,000 cars per annum. The unit is amongst the biggest in the world making electric cars.

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