Having last driven the Mahindra Reva e2o over a year ago, we revisit the latest version of India’s favourite EV for our Mahindra Reva and to find that it not only offers extended range, but also additional manoeuvrability.
Convincing consumers to buy electric vehicles in a nascent and immature market like India has got to be one of the toughest tasks that one can think of. In a country where the infrastructure is in tatters, and people struggle with fulfilling the basic requirements of everyday life, getting them to think seriously about the environment is definitely a tough sell. And this is not to mention that the electricity infrastructure, even in important areas likes the National Capital Region, is in serious trouble at the moment. So, you have to tip your hat off to Mahindra Reva for having worked tirelessly on the cause of green motoring for so many years – and they continue to increase the commitment further.
In keeping with this dedication, the latest version of the Mahindra Reva offers a few tweaks that yield two major improvements as we saw during our Mahindra Reva E2O. One is an increase in the all-important driving range – the Mahindra Reva e2o now can be driven for up to 120 kilometres on a single charge, an increase of 20 kilometres, and the second is the addition of electric power steering to improve the driving experience. And, from the moment you get going in the latest gen of the Mahindra Reva e2o, you really do feel the benefit of EPS. One of the sore points of the car we found in our Mahindra Reva E2O was the heavy steering, which required considerable effort – at low speeds especially – while the new steering setup provides an immediate benefit in terms of ease-of-use. The additional range too provides a bit more confidence to the driver, allowing you to plan slightly longer journeys without having undue range anxiety. After all, this is the single biggest factor working against EV’s the world over. So, any improvement in this regard is more than welcome.
Other than these two major improvements, the Mahindra Reva e2o remains largely the same – offering more than adequate performance for in-city use and an effective air-conditioning system, which works well even in our hot and humid conditions. Moreover, the air-conditioning can even be controlled via a smartphone app for remote operation. In fact, the smartphone app performs a variety of useful functions – such as indicating whether the car is charging or not, pointing out the level of charge, the available range, and you can even lock and unlock the vehicle remotely if need be.
Even considering those issues, however, the problems of the Mahindra Reva e2o are less to do with the product and more to do with our taxation structure – or lack of one targeted towards the proliferation of electric or green vehicles. Unfortunately, other than a very select few, not many will be willing to spend almost six lakhs for a car of this size. Ultimately, we just have to accept that unless the government works on rationalizing the taxation structure and provides some incentives for eco-friendly vehicles, the Mahindra Reva e2o is going to remain a very niche product restricted to only those who are really concerned for the environment – and want other road users to know about it! .
- Mahindra Reva e2o
Engine: 3 Phase Induction Motor
Transmission: Automatic/Rear-Wheel Drive
Power: 26bhp @ 3,750rpm
Torque: 54Nm @ 0-3,400rpm
Price: Rs. 5.70 lakhs (on-road, Delhi)