Mahindra Reva e2o was launched this year mid of March 2013. This all electric passenger car with the capacity of accommodating four adult passengers was first showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo by Mahindra Reva. The car was initially called as NXR which stood for next-gen Reva, but the name revised to e2o a.k.a energy to oxygen. At present EVs or electric vehicles are extremely required round the world, as these cars are easy on two most essential things; one, the environment and two, running costs. An electric car is almost synonymous with zero emission, thus eco-friendliness as well as cheap running costs. Though India is conscious about the grave facts of rising pollution and global warming, still it seems to shun the path of the green cars.
The Indian audience is still clearly not mature enough to accept EVs, as they seem to be unsure futuristic cars. This as a result translates into low sales of electric cars in India. Though Mahindra Reva was very confident about the capabilities of the e2o and hopeful about the success of this car, the e2o is only getting lukewarm response in the Indian car market dampening its maker’s spirits.
When I received the new e2o for a test drive, I really found the car a world-class model and a very efficient in every way that I could lay on. Mahindra hired the famous Dilip Chhabria to design the exterior of the e2o. The e2o looks more like a traditional hatchback rather than an EV. In fact when I first received the e2o, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it looked nothing like a conventional EV but a regular smart, compact hatchback which can drive anywhere including city and highways with ease. You can find the big alien eyed headlight design and a cramped up toy like body of an EV in the e2o. Also it can just fit in nicely along with other compact cars in the parking lot such as the Tata Nano or the popular Hyundai i10 for instance. The colour I took is the Bright Yellow which was definitely a head turner when the car stood at the parking lot or a red signal.
However, when I took a look inside the car, I was definitely struck by the innovative technology that is the main selling point of the vehicle. I simply loved the built of the car as it was almost close to every other hatch currently sold in India in the entry level segment. With a rally car sort of chassis the e2o has a roll cage design that provides great level of protection. The e2o’s body panels is just awesome where the body color is infused with multi layered resin bonded composite material. This means, the car does not have a painted body and thus virtually scratch proof, as the color will still show through a scratch. The other thing I liked about the car is the front and the side view part, where the build is awesome. The rear portion of the e2o does look small but once you open the boot, you will see a small space which can accompany baggage for a weekend getaway and the 5m wire to charge the car’s battery.
The car’s body panels are made up of ultra light and very strong dent resistant plastic, which just bounces off a dent. That is really cool. The panels are also simply glued to the framework of the car with a special adhesive. All these make the e2o really light which enhances its performance. The car is compact and light but yet very sturdy and strong and I could realise it as soon as I started driving it. The Mahindra Reva e2o cabin felt very sophisticated and clean. The dashboard layout is also conventional and neatly organized. The plastic layout though feels a bit cheaper than some of the top-notch fuel powered hatchbacks though it is more than enough to keep the cost low as it is really mean for a city drive car. All the switches maintain standard finish, but all come in the LED backlit digital form which is visible in the night.
The Mahindra Reva e2o comes packed with loads of features. To name a few in a vast list would be a Digital User Manual, Bluetooth connectivity, GPS Navigation with integrated maps, One touch foldable seats, Side impact dual beams, Immobilizer, Electric rear view mirrors, Aerodynamic effect, REVive technology, keyless entry with button start/stop, Driver Infotainment System, DVD/ CD/USB/AUX/MicroSD and iPod connectivity, Optional Sun2Car Technology.
Your mobile phone can be connected to the devices of the car by installing the Reva e2o app on your phone and you can use it to ignite the engine, lock doors and even start the AC a few minutes before you enter the car. You can also locate the nearest recharge point from your phone. Another very impressive fact about the e2o is its light and maintenance free Li-ion Battery that takes a mere 5 hrs to get fully recharged and run the car for 100 kms. The peak power of the car is 25 BHP at 3750 rpm, while maximum Torque is 53Nm at 0-3400rpm. The car delivers a top Speed of 81 Kmph. While testing the car on the road, I actually took it up to 80 Kmph and to our pleasant surprise, the e2o still felt very stable and comfortable, though this kind of speed really drains out the battery excessively. Apart from that, the city drive is very comfortable and I could toggle between the forward and the boost which makes difference between these two. I could easy zip those petrol heads with the boost mode from the signal which is quite amazing. I never meant that I was on a race instead I wanted to promote this car to all gas guzzlers that the future is this.
The gear shifts are simple with N, R F and B representing neutral, reverse, forward and boost respectively. Just push the start button on the right of the steering and touch the electronic key, the light turns green and indicates that you are ready to go. The comfort of changing modes is like touch of a feather and there is nothing fancy here. The car just keeps moving once you start accelerating in whichever mode you are and makes you comfortably reach your destinations without causing zero damage to the world that is something we should note.
Mahindra Reva e2o is offered with self-recharging system when the brakes are applied. However, the brakes of the e2o really made us sweat a bit. The engine braking and the discs on the front make the brake pedal very sensitive, making it really jerky and during my first drive the brakes was a little concern to me but later on I got used to it which is totally acceptable. It took me a while to learn how gently we should handle it, as I kept myself properly tied down with the seatbelts at all times which everyone should follow.
Our test car also pleased us with a silent electric motor. Apart from the brakes, driving the e2o was a piece of cake with a lot of digital assistance that can make a driver’s life easy. We also found the e2o providing very comfortable leg space and it gave a driving experience that would match to that of any other quality hatchback in the market. My team members were asking me to start the car, I already said the car is ready-to-go mode and they were quite amazed as it was silent, efficient, and small with comfort.
The rear seats were too comfortable as I asked two of my friends to sit, one is around 6-ft tall and another one was fat, but both could sit together with ease. I was quite amazed with the car. After making 4 people sitting in the car, I couldn’t find much difference while driving the car which is ok for me doing a city drive. The car would be able to do around 100 kms from a single charge which is very decent for a car like this and the revive technology is simply awesome which buys you that extra time to find a recharge point.
The Mahindra Reva e2o costs Rs. 5.95 in Delhi thanks to the state subsidy; but the car costs around Rs 7.75 lakh on Bangalore roads. No wonder the sales are less. Considering the environment factor, the Indian government needs to subsidize the EVs heftily as these green cars are really essential to drive down the high pollution level in the metros which every government should imply on.
The Mahindra Reva e2o is an all-rounder green car which is meant to help the environment while going easy on your pocket in the long run.
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