Why the economics of Mahindra Reva e20 don't work

Why the Mahindra Reva e2o economics don't work?

Ashish K Mishra
Published: 05, Apr 2013

Former senior principal correspondent at Forbes (India). Since 2008, I have been writing on corporate strategy in the automobiles, clean technology and supply chain space. Before I got onto this assignment, I was part of the team that covered feature articles at The Economic Times. I actually started out as a trainee journalist on the ET desk in 2006. I graduated in commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce in New Delhi and now live in Mumbai. I love automobiles and spend hours reading up on them and then devote painfully long hours to work on old cars that attract my fancy. Right now I own four cars (my colleagues call them fancy, junk or whatever) and a bicycle which outside my work hours get most of my attention.

The Mahindra Reva electric vehicle
Mahindra Reva e2o

Earlier this week, Vikram S Mehta, chairman of Brookings India, wrote in a column in The Indian Express that “governmental support is essential to create an enabling eco-system for electric vehicles (EVs)”. His main points can be summed up thus:

- EVs offer substantial savings in terms of running costs when compared to internal combustion engine vehicles

- EVs offer a sustainable answer to the challenge of energy and environment

- EVs should be incentivised by the government of India because we may find a solution to our energy and environment crisis

While one appreciates Mehta’s perspective, here’s what I have picked up from my own earlier research on EVs. I will focus on cost of ownership, understanding the subsidy burden if the government were to incentivise EVs, the clean car image and practical issues with owning an EV.

First, at Rs 8 lakh (estimated) price in Mumbai, the Mahindra Reva e2o is just too expensive for any sort of mass adoption. A major chunk of this cost is made up of the lithium ion battery (expected to be around Rs 2.5-3 lakh). Let’s assume that an average person drives 10, 000 km a year. And the e2o can be benchmarked against, let’s say, the Wagon R from Maruti Suzuki which costs Rs 5 lakh. In terms of charging, the e2o should cost Rs 50 per 100 km. That means a yearly running cost of Rs  5,000. The Wagon R, at a conservative fuel efficiency of 10 km to a litre, and price of petrol at Rs  75 would have a running cost of Rs 75, 000. So effectively a customer would save Rs 70, 000 every year. Except that in the total cost of ownership equation, this doesn’t work out very well.

A buyer of the e2o will take more than four years to recover the additional upfront money (Rs 3, 00, 000) that he paid for the vehicle. And let’s not forget that in the 5th year, the lithium ion battery needs replacement. At the battery’s current cost is not expected to go down drastically in the future, this completely alters the cost of ownership economics against the e2o. “This is not at a price yet which can lead to a volume build up. And without that OEMs are not going to invest in manufacturing capacity,” says Suvojoy Sengupta, managing director of Booz & Co India.

The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R
The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R

From a buyer’s point of view, a Wagon R CNG makes far better economic and practical sense. The lithium ion battery is just too expensive. 

Second, what is the quantum of subsidy burden we are talking about? Taking forward the earlier example, the government intends to bear about 40 percent of the difference in price between the e2o and the Wagon R. So that’s easily Rs 1 lakh or more for every EV sold. While I still don’t have an exact figure on the total amount, a good indicator would be what other countries spend. The US, for instance, has a proposed investment of just under $5 billion, China is about $20 billion, Japan at about $1.7 billion and France at about $ 3.5 billion.

A source who has been involved in these negotiations and discussions says that this is a big cheque to write. “I wasn’t surprised that the FM didn’t make any announcement in his budget speech. They have taken the proposal to the Planning Commission and finance ministry, but considering the public finance situation, this is a big cheque to write. And ultimately the Department of Expenditure will go through it with a fine toothcomb,” he said.

Third, with more than 90 percent of our energy coming from non-renewable sources, EVs don’t and cannot have a ‘clean car’ image. Period. According to the US Energy Information Administration, India’s largest energy source is coal, followed by petroleum and traditional biomass (e.g., burning firewood and waste).

Lastly, EVs cannot take off unless there is some basic level of charging infrastructure available. Range anxiety is the biggest fear of an EV buyer. I mean nobody wants to be left stranded with a Rs 8 lakh vehicle. Don’t you think that instead of incentivizing EV purchase, the government would do better to incentivise charging infrastructure? And let the manufacturers do their job of manufacturing and selling EVs.

  • Amey Pednekar

    Its commendable that Mahindra has been actively trying to electrification of vehicles in India, but honestly, they will never succeed. They just don't understand EVs enough to pull it off. Its almost impossible to build a cheap EV if you are going to source every component from the foreign soil. All Mahindra is doing is getting, atleast with their EVs is getting components from someone and putting them together. Its no surprise that E2o costs a lot. Secondly, the engineering going into making it is sub-par. The car weighs as much as some sedans out there, inspite of being that small. Yes the Lithium batteries are heavy but not as much as people assume they are. And most importantly, the business model is at fault to start with. If any car maker new or existing, feels they could come up with an EV for the mass market straight away, they are so damn wrong. The main reason behind Tesla's success was that they started at the top of the pyramid and are slowly moving down. Mahindra straightaway started at the bottom with a hatchback and now are trying to move to a sedan (E-verito). That will never work. The only way to lower EV costs is by having your powertrain locally manufacured, which we are from right now. Yes, that needs support from the government as well but it also needs the carmakers to approach them, which they haven't effectively done yet. In my opinion, we need someone new to take that mantle because the existing ones don't look like they will ever succeed

    on Aug 2, 2016
  • Sudheer Godgeri

    This is true. Two biggest dampers in electric car purchase today - are range anxiety and cost of lithium ion battery . Even after spending a bomb on purchasing e20/other models - we just can't take our family out to pune/nashik/other places like conventional cars. If we do decide to take out family -- say from dahisar to churchgate and back -- we have to worry about electric charge running out. Hardly anybody lets you charge your electric charge off their hotels/shops/garages ! Ifyou run out of charge -- you are stranded. Add to this -- non upgradability -- dont expect to be able to replace a 120km lithium ion battery with later model -- you need to buy a new car!! so you are tied in -- it has literally zero resale value.

    on Jul 31, 2016
  • Vaishnavi Raskar

    Anyone who is against buying e2o must one's read this : 1. No road tax 2. Toll free (all over India) 3. No servicing fr 5years ...unlike other cars which need servicing (one time servicing almost costs Rs. 10,000 4. Eco friendly . 5. A/C is available without even paying for petrol and diesel . 6. 5 years warranty .... No other cars give such a huge warranty. 7. 80% income tax benefit 8. Any other car gets scratches and dents but e2o has such a body that scratches are barely visible . 9. Lastly, I can just say that it helps to save our Earth ..

    on May 23, 2016
    • Nanjundaswamy

      I'm a classic Reva user for the past 4 years and have a rather bleak opinion about EVs in general. Here are some of the reasons supporting my opinion: . EVs know-how - Rather too thin a service network with most of the personnel rather too unaware of triaging and fixing issues in a quick manner. . Helplessness - With rather too limited service network and even lesser people with the right know how to fix issues, customer services takes a last precedence causing long service turn around times and a frustrating user experience. I have many a times felt very helpless in spite of paying quite a hefty price for the car due to this. . Spare part replenish takes "forever" leading to shoddy service completions. . Locked-down - With limited service and knowledgable personnel, one is forced to reach out the same service centers in spite of horrendous service from them - Never felt so helpless in my life in spite of paying a heavy price. . There is a "charger unit" in the vehicle which cost a bomb (14K) but fails mysteriously whenever there is a power surge (due to wind/rain/short circuit), etc. Funny thing is that I cannot prevent the problem from recurring as there is no recommended surge protection device - the knowledgable personnel seem to have no clue about recommending a preventive mechanism from future occurrences. . The myth of clean vehicle is busted since over 80% of power generated in India is from thermal power plants which has a very dense carbon footprint. . Shock absorption is missing for most practical purposes in this car - quite a bumpy ride. So, if you have a bad/weak back, then this car is not for you! . Seat ergonomics are completely bad - no extra lumbar support leaves you strained at the end of the ride. Net-net, I have had a very bad experience so far with Reva and Mahindra and would like everyone to stay away from it.

      on Jul 4, 2016
  • rathesh

    good post

    on Jan 21, 2016
  • parth paida

    sir i have a solution but how i explain that because i am just studen so please tell me ...[parthpaida11@gmail.com]

    on Oct 29, 2015
  • Adarsh

    How much watt do we need to charge this? For 100km

    on Sep 28, 2015
  • Prashant

    Spare parts are very expensive and hard to find or source I am searching for drivers side mirror for the past one month. The mahindra dealer is quoting some abursd amounts of money for replacing one

    on Sep 6, 2015
  • Dim bulb

    Solution is easy. Mahindra has 5-6 dealers in most Big cities. Instead of charging just replace discharged battery with fully charged one. Dealer can recharge later and give same Battery pack to next customer. Original car must be sold without battery. When you take it out of show room dealer gives you electric fuel pack which you use for 75-100 km. In fact they can break up battery packs to smaller pieces. Say 50 km pack, 100 km pack and so on. So no need of subsidy. Basically I'm talking cooking gas distribution system.

    on Sep 1, 2015
  • TrushaC

    How to get Reva training? Any specific precaution. How Reva training is different from standard petrol card drivin?

    on Aug 31, 2015
  • shamsheer baig

    its so good that changes are in, great ,now some people should buy to show the world it works , some buy first , some buy later , now people you should try it with your money , just buy it, i will buy later

    on Jul 6, 2015
  • lakshmishree

    after subsidies this car is very affordable. when people waste money lavishly on expensive phones that they only use for a year i dont think tis would be a bad investment. sometimes one mustnt only think about money. when all the ice has melted from greenland and antartica , which is happening at an alarming pace (3times the predicted rate) and the water level rises by 20 feet which means all the coastal cities will get submerged . you cant make a boat out of the money youve saved or eat it when your hungry . Take 15 mintues off your busy schedule and watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Yq-sfWSWLg When a new technology has been delevoped which is good for the human race people should support it , instead of discouraging people by writing article like this . Im definitly going to buy this car. its perfect for city use. this car wont have the problem of wasting petrol at signals or shifting gears at snail pace traffic

    on Jun 22, 2015
    • RK

      I also feel the same way as you. I currently own zen estillo (2007) and would like to sell it and go for mahindra reva e2o. The problem is, I live in chennai and there is no permit to sell e2o here. So even if you buy from bangalore there are no service centres or charging stattions locally. The author says 8 lacs. The basic model is currently going for 4.99 (ex show rm) lacs and will be around 5.90 lacs on road. There are some discounts also which will get you down further to 5.7 lacs. Here is the link : http://mahindrareva.com/buy/price-list. The tamil nadu state has made a deliberate effort to keep these pollution free low maintanence (no oil change or petrol) cars out of this state. On can only wonder why. Also the cost of LI battery cost is constantly coming down and if you buy it now, the replacement cost in 5 years will be much lower than 3 lacs. It should around 1 to 1.5 lac if you read the artcles coming out of Tesla which is an EV maker. So we have to support this car given it has a range of 100km.

      on Dec 24, 2015
    • dhurga

      where r u from? Do you have this car? If you have, where will you charge? Even I am interested to buy. Reply

      on Jun 23, 2015
      • lakshmishree

        no I dont have it right now. I want to buy it as well

        on Jun 26, 2015
  • Rahul

    I live on 14 th floor, my parking is in second level of basement. there is no power socket, and i am sure that except for that of the light bulbs there were no connection of power there. If and E2O is with me and to charge it for 5 hours or even 1 hour fast charge i will regularly have to go to a nearby charging outlet. how come this cost effectiveness is saving my time. remember time is cost. 100 Kms is nothing in Delhi NCR. suppose i go to work 25 Km and then return back 25 Km i lose 50 Kms, and then if at all i have to visit client i will have to think 'n' no of times and take out my calculator, search google for traffic situation and after all that to decide on whether buying E2O is a good decision. Go for a Hybrid car rather than E2O

    on May 22, 2015
    • Umair Khan

      Hi Rahul, The answer to your concern that you stay on high rise and the parking is at the basement, when you own a EV, mahindra as a company will install the charging pont to the location of the parking and also connect the charging outlet to you current meter,for reference you can vist the website and get the clarification.Plus just to let you know delhi goverment is already in talk's with all the manufaturer's for getting charging outle's installed through out the city, and most of them would be free from the provider of the car and some of them will be paid

      on Aug 4, 2015
  • Himanshu Desai

    Sir, Good thought.Please evaluate my proposal.Now the current price after subsidy is 5.20.You are right if we use power from grid,it is nor renewable. I am working on providing thin solar panel stuck to the roof and on side of the car continuously charging battery when car is parked.Also when all heat is reflected on solar,keep inside of the car cool.Also will build simple charging station in society's compound.This way car will be mostly using renewable energy.would love to hear further. Thank you

    on May 12, 2015
    • Dk

      Dude , Your Idea sounds great , but if its rains you will be roasted in the car undoubtedly, as of the car does not offer such a arrangement it comes with solar station , this car is good for people who have a garage of their own , If u check ur proposal Car cost is 5.2 Lakhs without battery surcharge So Emi of the car comes approximately to 13k Theres this battery surcharge to be paid every month starting at 3k The cost of electricity is 12 units per day that is say 90 bucks so for 22 working days 2k approx. If u buy a cng same vehicle ur gas and operating cost comes to around 5k a month Plus this car has a very low resale value check on OLX or Quikr We still don't have adequate infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in India

      on Sep 29, 2015
  • Mahindra E20 | Wallzonecar.info

    [...] Why the economics of mahindra reva e20 don’t work | forbes Earlier this week, vikram s mehta, chairman of brookings india, wrote in a column in the indian express that “governmental support is essential to create an. [...]

    on Apr 5, 2015
  • Nikhil

    I have a annual usage of 20K Kms off my E2O; running cost of 12K INR. I have broken even with a Wagon R in 18 months. Perfect car! Now I am only happy that I did not get discouraged by this article :). Good car. The more you use it, the faster you break even.... and this is without the incentive from Govt. ha ha!

    on Mar 1, 2015

    Thanks Mr.Vikram Mehta for your Opinion. I do agree with you, As of now at on raod price of Rs.4.70 lacs new car owner would not like to suffer. Moreover people who lives in hih- rise apartments , problem of charging their car. Car manufacturers and government agencies must look into this aspect.

    on Feb 25, 2015
    • Karthikeyan

      You speak to your apartment association and set up a charging point or plug points on parking spaces...They have come up with awesome technology and you are complaining about silly charging issues

      on Aug 1, 2015
      • Ravi

        What I will do with Awesome technology If charging issue is not resolved.

        on Sep 16, 2015
  • Vivekdelhi

    Today's price is 4.8 L in delhi after reducing the 1L subsidy...120 Kim's for the new model...I just did a test drive of 75 Kim's and 28% charge still left...local Mahindra dealers say they will allow us to charge any time...for free...battery lease 3000 per month...seems a good deal compared to CNG wagon R.....

    on Jan 30, 2015
    • Dk

      U did a test drive of 75kms , Lol

      on Sep 29, 2015

      Dear Mr VIVEK where they will arrange charging I mean either at your place or ay their show room ?

      on Feb 25, 2015
    • suraj

      dear vivekdelhi how do u go about it... I want one for 4.8... should u be a Delhite or 6 month stay suffices... is subsidy a long process... please clarify...waiting in earnest..

      on Feb 12, 2015
  • Bibin

    Petrol price is not going to be 75/ Litre for next 4 years

    on Dec 3, 2014
  • Ritesh

    I too agree and echo the context with regards to: 1. EVs (Electric Vehicles) should be incentive driven by the government of India because we may find a solution to our energy and environment crisis very soon and become leading example in pressing-down th global warming lead by gas vehicle's carbon-combustion. 2. Government support is most essential to create an enabling eco-system for electric vehicles (EVs) that will support the manufacturers as well. 3. Government would do better to incentive-charging infrastructure and let the manufacturers do their job of manufacturing and selling EVs. 4. My all-time-favorite automotive company in the world is Tesla

    on Nov 19, 2014
  • Binita Gandhi

    Since last 5 i was waiting for 2 sitter car & i got it from your

    on Oct 17, 2014
  • Pranaya

    I do not agree to the TCO Calculations as the basis of Li-ion battery replacement is mere conjuncture .. L-ion packs are up and running for over 7-8 years with capacities not coming down below 90%. So a consumer is unlikely to replace the packs in 5 year time as presumed...and even if the replacement is needed the pack prices will be much more cheaper to what they are today... Also the cost of driving IC Cars will go up every year given the petrol prices movement northwards.. so effectively the savings are more.. and the maintenance part of an EV is just about 5% or less to that of normal car..which is ignored...

    on Oct 11, 2014

    I have have an idea to implement the mahindra e20 it is useful for generating power please give me a chance to do implementing the idea .Iam a mechanical engineer of B-tech 3rd year student .I done a project of hybrid power plant at our college.It is a two way power supply.

    on Sep 10, 2014
    • prateek

      give me your email id..i have a plan to put your idea into production.

      on Oct 28, 2014
  • dr s goswami

    THE major threat to indian pollution and road mismanagement , i think are auto rickshaws and the 100 cc bikes.if you can replace them , you achieve the goal and can jump about saying that you saved energy.so the main focus for any electric car or any energy efficient car shoulkd aim the lower, lower middle class and the middle class family of india.and in order to do so , i think the price should not be more than 2.5 lacs,and also with heavy finance scheme...thank you....

    on Apr 2, 2014

    Thank you for all regarding dissections on Mahindra reva e2o some what i understood your opinion on e2o but to fulfill all your city transport need i have taken interest on electric car which can fulfill all u r needs within cost of five lakes so i am working on this project in my college do you all help me by providing your ideas to overcome with e2o drawbacks and new fetures in success of electric car for urban transportation and cleaner city..............i hope you will support to complete my academic project,,,,thanking you all.....

    on Mar 25, 2014
    • adigomi1992@gmail.com

      amithbhovi please contact me at adi_muziklover@yahoo.com i need some help from you.

      on Jul 13, 2014
    • jagannath

      I am a final year engineering student, interested in the idea of sustainable transportation . i would love to share few ideas and collaborate with you.if interested please drop me a mail at kamathjagannath95@gmail.com

      on Apr 15, 2014
    • Shailender

      @AmitBhovi - Are you open to collaboration? If so then drop me a message at econcept4m@gmail.com. I have a few ideas to share.

      on Mar 28, 2014
  • Yalaa

    In this article "Why the economics of Mahindra Reva e20 don’t work", has the factor of " technology of synthesising the energy on hitting the brakes" taken into account by the author? Because in a hilly region, some percentage of power/energy is recovered using the above technology.

    on Mar 23, 2014
  • Yogesh Saxena

    Sir, as being M-reva e2o lainched at Delhi too. But still Rs.4.82lacs are on higher side . Government must incetivise this eco vehicle. One more query in a high rise apartment how one can charge ?

    on Mar 3, 2014

      Hi Mahindra Reva has promised that their Engineers will come and do all the neccessary electrical fitting which will be linked to Your electricity meter , to give you a charging point at your parking place in the apartment for FREE

      on Mar 7, 2014

    It is good to listen about the electric cars, but one thing i would like to ask is, how can we avoid a change of overcharging the batteries. Because, there have been complaints that the battery chargers sometimes fail to stop charging the batteries when a certain voltage is reached. They continue to charge the batteries and the result is damage to just not a single battery but all the eight batteries that are connected in series.

    on Feb 17, 2014
    • Kailas

      Dear Mr Khan, I am owing and driving an e2o from September 2013. I have covered 5220 kms till now. The charging stops when the battery is completely charged. The car is totally safe to drive and charge. Additionally, I am charging from solar for about 85% of the time. So, the savings are huge. Let us consider the economics. The current cost of Li Ion batteries is Rs 1.8 to Rs 2.0 lakh. These are good for 80000 kms. So, the cost works out to Rs 2.5/km over its lifetime. Maintenance cost is zero, except an occasional top up of brake fluid. Add up cost of electricity if fully charged on the grid, Rs 0.7/ km. Total = Rs 3.2/km. Now for a small diesel car with mileage of 15 kmpl within city. Current cost of diesel in Pune is Rs 63/lit. This can only increase. For a running of 80000 kms, just the fuel cost will be Rs 4.2/km at current diesel fuel prices. Let us not even compare petrol. Current maintenance cost works out to about Rs 0.4/km. Total cost is Rs 4.6/km. This is 30% more than an e2o. Furthermore, the cost of a battery is only going to decrease further, while the cost of fuel is only going to increase. Also, for IC(petrol/diesel) engines, the efficiency is not more than 54-55%. But if you are charging from the grid, the generation efficiency is >65%. So, it is also ecologically better than petrol or diesel cars.

      on Mar 6, 2014
      • Karthik

        Dear Kailas, I'm particularly interested in this statement of yours - "Additionally, I am charging from solar for about 85% of the time." What kind of solar panel and accessories do you use to charge your e2o? What was the investment in getting and installing them? Could you provide some specifications on the solar panel capacity and the requirements of the battery of e2o?

        on Aug 25, 2014
      • dinakar

        Good explaination kailash. You have cleared a lot of doubts. I am waiting for the july 8th budget. Thanks once again

        on Jul 2, 2014
      • Abhijit patnaik

        Hi @Kailas, I am thinking of buying the Reva e2o, was wondering if you could tell me more about your experience...

        on Jun 5, 2014
  • Mahindra e2o – Better than Reva but not practical still | Power Nap

    [...] there are other aspects to consider and this article by Forbes nicely summarizes the economics of Mahindra e20 and why its does not make [...]

    on Feb 11, 2014
  • Avinash Baliyan

    I just talked to the Mahindra Reva Sales guy , he told me that 29% is already rebated by Delhi Government . VAT is exempted and many other taxes are exempted already on the Mahindra REVA in Delhi. Thank you Delhi Government!

    on Feb 10, 2014
  • Avinash Baliyan

    1. First of all Delhi is Worlds number one polluted city in the world. I want my children to breathe fresh air and not poison . Of course even we have to toss up extra money for the our life and future of our children i dont mind and i think many people would not mind it too. If you produce electricity in a far away power plant from Delhi and send it to Delhi and than u recharge ur EV from that electricity , u r making delhi less polluted. Of course overall pollution remains same but is dissipated as it will not be concentrated in Delhi. Of course switching 80 Lakhs Delhi cars to EVs is impossible task . Given that if Government gives even 1 Lakh subsidies for an EV and even if 1 Lakh people switches to EV , Total subsidy cost = 1000 Crores . So Delhi government should focus on improving mass transportation more attractive,accessible for CAR Owners to use .Metro Rail has done it to an extent of course. But a lot more has to be done. 2. Now Mahindra has introduced SUN 2 Car concept , http://www.mahindrae2o.com/pdf/Sun2Car-Web-Brochure.pdf you have options 2.1) You pay extra 1.3 lakh , you get a solar panel with the car , you can recharge with your free electricity. 2.2) You pay extra 2 lakh , you get solar panels , n a battery to store this energy (so that u can recharge ur car at night, also people in ur home can switch on AC , Washing machines, coolers during the day to catch extra energy that solar panels will harverst apart from charging the batteries ) this means if u r not fully but nearly ur carbon footprint is zero . Mahindra REVA is placed number 22 as the most innovative companies in the world in Fast Company survey. Mahindra REVA is the cheapest electric car in the world, the next electric car is just double the price of REVA. If you think about preserving the environment and lessen the pollution levels you can pay a little extra for that.

    on Feb 9, 2014
    • Ram Krishna

      Well I agree to most of your points, except the fact that Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. Shangahai, Qwetta, Tehran, Jakarta and even Kolkata and Kanpur in India are more polluted than Delhi. Delhi is infact some of the cleanest capitals in the world. It is even better than London. And by the way Americans generate more plastic than rest of the word put together, they consume more energy, meat and packaged food, all of which pollutes earth.

      on Mar 22, 2014
  • Johnson

    Ok below is my e2o review which I had promised. Feature for feature it is the best small car in the WORLD. It is reviewed against the Swift, Alto, Nano, WagonR, i10 and SantroCNG - all great cars in their own right. But E2O beats them all except the Swift and the swift escapes my the skin of its teeth. If E2O can beat the best small car maker in the world Suzuki/Maruti and its Alto I have no doubt in proclaiming E2O as the best car in the World. You dont believe me? Go ahead and check it out for yourself: http://www.pluginindia.com/1/post/2013/09/e2o-vs-swift-alto-wagonr-i10-santro-nano.html And nobody said its cheap, or its for the common man. If you can afford one and can arrange for its charging then by all means buy one it will be profitable for you and it will give lesser headache than the petrol car. Its not the next Nano although it is the cheapest electric production car in the World. The next cheapest electric car is double its price. The more days you wait for the Govt to give subsidies the more you will keep spending.

    on Jan 24, 2014
  • S Manchanda

    Let us review on two aspects: -Environment: The electric vehicle needs to be charged and the fuel for charge is electricity. Electricity in India is produced at very low efficiency. Out of total electricity produced only 5-10% is sources from alternative energy. So effectively you are polluting more if you charge from available power at your home. -Economy: In case it is costly, it definitely means more carbon foot print is required to produce it. Overall: With above electric vehicles are more polluting than normal fuel efficient car. It is at the point of usage, it does not produce smoke. So perception is it is environment friendly, but in true sense it is not. However there is bright side, if we charge it from alternative energy only it is far superier than any other fossil fuel based car. What government Should do? Government already have subsidies for alternative energy usage. it should club those schemes and encourage by subsidise only to those who produce alternative energy or buy it along with those subsidsed systems only. There should not be subsidy otherwise.

    on Nov 27, 2013
    • SF John

      Even though the reply is late, the point you are stating is wrong. An IC (Internal Combustion) engine has a very low efficiency in the range of 45-55 percentage. It means, the remaining 50% of fuel energy is wasted as heat and smoke. A very basic coal plant has a minimum efficiency of 60%. The later generation thermal plants and diesel power plants have an efficiency of around 70%. This means, even if you use thermal grid power to charge and run your car, the pollution you are causing is much less than what you would pollute when driving your IC engine.

      on Sep 4, 2014

    it is great to see mahindra chargable car but cost so high,govt can control pollution to invest in this car, or sollar system car that kind of car.its good for our future and all indian mantri who dont give subsidy ........

    on Oct 17, 2013
  • Jaydeep Banerjee

    By increasing the fuel efficiency of our regular cars we can reduce our dependency on oil imports and do away with an electric car till we are able to produce them sub 2 Lakhs. Anything higher is a non starter

    on Oct 13, 2013
  • Irfan

    Why can't we use the upper hood of the car, for installing small solar panels, which can recharge the battery, while the car is standing idol at traffic lights or in the parking area. It will automatically increase the mileage of the car.

    on Sep 21, 2013
    • Dinesh

      Irfan, today the affordable solar panel even if installed on hood as well as the car top, can power a 200 W bulb at best. But for a car the requirement is atleast 30-40 kW. Which means, you need panel the size of a trailer lorry for the car, which is not practical.

      on Nov 13, 2013
      • Avinash Baliyan

        Dinesh Mahindra REVA has introduced their SUN 2 Car program ,---------------------------------> so paying 1 lakh you can get a 10 square metre of solar panels from Mahindra ,you can place roof of your home and recharge ur car.------------------------------------------------> You pay extra 2 lakh , you get solar panels , n a battery to store this energy (so that u can recharge ur car at night, also people in ur home can switch on AC , Washing machines, coolers during the day to catch extra energy that solar panels will harverst apart from charging the batteries ) this means if u r not fully but nearly ur carbon footprint is zero http://www.mahindrae2o.com/pdf/Sun2Car-Web-Brochure.pdf

        on Feb 9, 2014
  • CK

    A correction to my comment (August 31, 2013, 2:46 pm) below. The third-to-last sentence should read (correction in caps): "So, even a small car that *actually* yields 14 kmpl is about 32% more polluting (in CO2 terms alone) than THE MAHINDRA REVA E2O".

    on Sep 2, 2013
    • Anil Kumar

      CK, I do not subscribe to the argument that the government should subsidize electric cars. I think the "subsidy" for petrol is really a myth. I am also not convinced that the government(state and central) really want to reduce petrol/diesel consumption. I believe reduction in petrol/diesel consumption will hit state and central government revenues. My beliefs aside, you have done an excellent job with analyzing the actual CO2 emission of EVs like Reva. I am yet to see a single article that covers this aspect of the story. This is the data that should be available for countries like India where much of the electricity is generated through fossil fuels. Unfortunately the available data is obfuscated one way or the other to suit the argument being made. Thanks for the analysis.

      on Oct 30, 2013
      • CK

        You are actually right about petrol, it's just about a break-even affair (depends on how you do bookkeeping though). Diesel, though, is a different story. Consider this from just two days ago: http://ppac.org.in/WRITEREADDATA/PS_oil_prices.pdf It's pretty clear that the sale of diesel is a loss-making proposition, along with kerosene and LPG, all put together, to the tune of 1.6 lakh crore. There's also arguments from energy security, strategic capacity building, etc etc. But I agree, that's a very messy discussion to get into. Thank you for reading my comment! It's good to know that someone reads the long blocks of text one writes.

        on Oct 30, 2013


    on Sep 1, 2013
  • CK

    A counterpoint. With the benefit of hindsight, we're actually looking at 7 lakhs maximum, on road, Mumbai. Current government underrecoveries on petrol are around Rs 11-12 per liter. Let's say the underrecovery is Rs 12 per liter, for arguments' sake. At 12 kmpl, a small car that has run 1 lakh kilometers has consumed 1,00,000/12 liters of petrol. Multiply that by 12 for total govt underrecovery. The government's underrecovery for this car is Rs 1 lakh right there. So, would you buy this car at Rs 6 lakh (7lakh minus 1lakh subsidy), given the vast operating savings, high level of build quality, and smart convenience features? I think a lot of people might. That is effectively NO subsidy burden for the government (subsidy of 1 lakh, offsetting an underrecovery on petrol of 1 lakh). The economics aren't THAT hopeless. There's a lot of additional quibbling that could be done, but I'll just discuss the third point, about EVs not being green. I'm using Central Electrical Authority data, specifically, the "combined build margin" for grid emission factors in CEA's "CO2 Baseline Database for the Indian Power Sector, Version 8.0, January 2013". This is 0.94 kg CO2 per kWh. Further, I'll use the average (74 km) of the two values for range per charge in Team-BHP's official review of the car. Combine this with the fact that a full charge translates to 10 kWh, and the conclusion is that e2O emissions are 127g of CO2 per km. Note that in the south of India, which has different grid emission factors, this figure would actually be even lower, albeit marginally. A petrol car that yields 14 kmpl in the real world (notice that the mileage figure is generous) emits 168 g CO2 per km, using IPCC-NGGIP figures for petrol of 3.17 kg of CO2 per kg of petrol burned, and using a standard figure of 0.74 kg petrol per liter. So, even a small car that *actually* yields 14 kmpl is about 32% more polluting (in CO2 terms alone) than a small petrol car. Yes, the "greenness" of EVs depends greatly on the grid. But do the numbers, and you find that from a greenhouse gas point of view, EVs do pretty damn well, even with today's grid mix.

    on Aug 31, 2013
  • mohan

    I think Rs. 8 lakhs is too costly a car. it is better for mahindra to manufacture 2 seater small car instead of 4 seater. since the car can only be used in city limits. 2 seater car will cost less and would be light weight with a small frame.

    on Aug 22, 2013
  • sudheer Godgeri

    Yes - I believe the Govt. of India is not doing its part to make the movement to Electric Vehicles succeed - by providing charging stations in every petrol pump / between every two cities as is done in UK. Also - Govt. does not allow individuals to set up windmilss, sell electricity to public - This is another obstacle for any private entrepreneur to try and help!! The ministry of fuel - is too happy earning its commission in buying petrol/related products at high price and forcing consumers in India to foot the bill. Neither the Gulf oil well owners nor any government body are serious about allowing/ incentivizing alternate energy source fuel systems.

    on Jul 30, 2013
  • Venu

    Mahindra took Reva, Doubled the cost, fancied it a bit only to KILL it. It will stay but will never fly. Guys!!!, Do you understand what the companies and Govt are doing here? They DONT want Electric cars to succeed. This will results in so many companies go out of buisness in no time. - Oil companies (Shell, Exxon,IndianOil, etc) will lose big time as petrol, diesl demand will slump. - Other Companies that make auto-mechanical parts that supply to Auto manufacturing companies will be jobless. - Motor Oil companies - Jobless - Car Servicing/Repair companies (oil change, filter, timing belt, idling, all bullshit not required) - Fuel additives/enhancer companies- Jobless - Ofcourse, car companies like Mahindra need to sell as many Diesel/Petrol cars to show profits. All Major players in the above markets (incl Auto manufacturers like mahindra) are paying off the Govt to ensure cars like E20 does not go into MASS consumption. At 8L, it is just a cool thing for Mahindra to have in their portfolio and nothing more. Note: GM has a very efficient Electric car called EV1 in 1990s, which was crushed by Oil, Auto companies. Literally all EV1 was taken away from customers and crushed. Watch "who killed the electric car" movie. Having said all this: what will happen if all our cars are converted to Electric cars??? Where will all the million batteries packs go every 3 years!! Is that not pollution? How about the enormous amount of electricity needed to charge all the cars? The Rich and the greedy will drain this planet and unfortunately no one can stop it. We are our own devil and God.

    on Jul 16, 2013
  • José María Córdoba Márquez

    necesito adquirir una camioneta Maruti susuki wagon R, por favor que debo hacer. Me encuentro en Bogotá Colombia gracias

    on Jul 8, 2013
  • vivek

    guys dont worry, future is only ev's as number of ev's increases, there will be battery swapping stations, where u can swap the battery(exchange of discharged battery with charged one) with in two minutes, of coarse at the some extra cost. that means this is faster than filling petrol or diesel. then range will be no matter. another problem is its initial cost; which is always the problem with upcoming technologies. cost will reduces with bulk production.(remember the switching of technology from steam engine to i.c engine) so, dont worry who are thinking about purchasing e.v., go ahead

    on Jun 29, 2013
  • Sudeep Bagaria

    I am fascinated by E2O and would love to buy one. I also worked out the cost of this car compared to my existing Wagon R. Following variables were considered for working out cost of ownership. Wagon R at Rs. 5 lacs and E2O at E2O at 8 lacs. Write off both the vehicles at the end of 3 years. (We want to be on safer side, right?) Fuel cost for Wagon R @ Rs. 5 and E2O @ Re 0.60 Maintenance (I have gathered that E2O does not need regular servicing, please correct if I am wrong) Rs. 1,000 for E2O and 1/3rd of fuel consumed by Wagon R comes to Rs. ~ 8,300/- PA. Interest cost on capital cost of the cars @ 1.5% per month comes to 30 k for Wagon R and 48 k for E2O. CONCLUSION: The break even for choosing between Wagon R and E2O is 84 KMs per day driving, 25 days a week and 12 months a year. At 84 Kms driving per day monthly average cost of ownership for both the cars Rs. 29,658/- QUERIES: Will E2O continue to drive 84 KMs per day without charging during the 3 year period or will that reduce as time goes by. Will E2O match the comfort, safety and driving pleasure of Wagon R Please let us have your views.

    on Jun 18, 2013
  • Kavi

    This car looks interesting to me. I am from Bangalore and my question is I might use the car for grocery or to pick up kids and I assume I may use it for around 3000 kms a year or even less. In this case do I have to change the battery after 5 yrs or will it run for more longer time. The above article calls for a change after 5 yrs for 10000 km per yr. Is this the car for me or will it be good to buy Maruti suzuki A star Diesel.

    on May 31, 2013
  • Kalpesh

    when Mahindra acquired REVA. it got a step ahead of the race, could have done its home work with team RAVA & learnt some from TESLA. E20 seems to be a joke. firstly only 2% of Indians holds a car as per a survey I saw when I was watching TATA NANO review. of that 2% who holds cars, majority a family holds 1 car per family. the reason Parking issue, be it anywhere in India. so when an average family has 1 car per family, what is a basic requirement for a family. 1) car should be reliable, dependable, and comfortable. when it comes to E20 I don't see that factor of Reliable. the rage is only 100 KM. pick any metro from one corner to other and you will find out that you can drive more then 100 km within that limit. so what will you do to over come the issue since we don't have charging station and again charging will take good amount of time. dependable : if I have a planned day on a regular basis and if there is a minor change in plan it cannot be possible since there is a high chance of getting out of charge. Comfort : 2 Doors come on, a huge company like Mahindra made a 2 door car.. its funny.. its not a sports car.. you tried to make an economy car with a sports car 2 door concept.. funny.. looking to the success of Tesla.. Mahindra should have invested on R&D on Battery options at least a range of 250+ KM/charge range, quick charging station within cities, Tie up with MNC's to encourage employees to promote Electric Cars by providing charging stations in office. 4 doors. a better pick up since I feel the pick up is not convincing. I believe if they come with next car it should change the mindset of every Indian : this is the next gen car. all the best Mahindra.

    on May 22, 2013
    • Alok

      Who is ready to share his knowledge until you develop your own Its easy to comment but even this a big step in a baby step. We should appreciate whatever Mahindra and its team has done

      on Jun 23, 2015
      • a.k.shivaswamy

        the old maini reva car is still the best option.its a two seater and serves the purpose for senior citizens and ladies ask maini to restart production of this car.its better than mahindras e20

        on Dec 9, 2015


    on May 20, 2013

    nice review, but if you love your mother nature extra costs wont be a mjor issue

    on May 18, 2013
  • Zac

    Everything you said about the environmental benefits of EVs is wrong! Electric motors are extremely efficient and as such most electric cars pollute less than regular internal combustion engined cars even on a dirty grid. On top of that, as the grid slowly becomes cleaner over time, the environmental benefits of electric increase greatly.

    on May 18, 2013
  • Brahma

    Opinions seem to be divided on whether an electric car is good for the pocket or for the environment. Considering the fuel autonomy, electric cars are suitable for urban uses and not for travelling from one city to another. Nobody is questioning why in the first place one should be owning a vehicle in a city. Government's subsidy should be aimed at improving public transport (not necessarily in metros and sky trains but also in Rapid Transits and modern Trams) and not subsidizing individual modes of transport. As the urban roads get chocked with cars and SUVs, the solution lies not in creating more roads but more dedicated public transport lanes which can carry more people longer distances faster, cheaper and safer. If companies like MAHINDRA REVA want to promote electric cars, they should be present not in mega cities but in smaller towns where distances are not big, public transport system is poor or practically inexistent. I can say this after using Reva for almost 12 years in Pondicherry. Contrary to what the manufacturer claims, the initial cost is high and so is the running cost (Rs 2 of electricity per km + Rs 4 for battery replacement per km). But nobody can deny the fact that the compact Reva is so easy to drive and park. Moreover, if one is really concerned about pollution, then charging the car with electricity from coal-fired power plants does not make sense. I could not wait for Reva to introduce solar panels to charge the electric car and went ahead of the company to do so. So the bottom line is, go for electric vehicles for all other reasons than "economics". If you really have a strong conviction and feeling for the environment, then push hard for solar, wind or bio-energy powered public transport...

    on May 15, 2013
  • Johnson

    Cheapest Electric Car... in the Entire WORLD... with 4 wheels & 4 seats... thats reason enough... (the chinese version QQ3 has only 2 seats...) love it or hate it...E2O is a milestone in World Automobiles... just like the NANO... Makes me PROUD :-)

    on May 14, 2013
  • Johnson

    First, at Rs 8 lakh (estimated) price in Mumbai, the Mahindra Reva e2o is just too expensive. Wagon R from Maruti Suzuki which costs Rs 5 lakh. In terms of charging, the e2o should cost Rs 50 per 100 km. ??? WHY??? Use solar Panels and its ZERO cost of FUEL… Let’s assume that an average person drives 10, 000 km a year. ???WHY only 10K year that means 10,000km/365days = 28Kms per day. THAT ISWHERE MOST OF US IS WORNG. The correct trip reading should be around 50Kms per day IF FUEL was CHEAP or FREE… but that is not the Case with Wagon R…. but it is the case with E2O. Personally I would drive it till 100km or 90 km but for average driving I will consider a daily milage of 50kms. After all a car is to help you to travel greater distances at shorter time. So now lets redo the maths… E2O…50Km per day x 365 days (year) x fuel (zero cost due to charging by SolarPanels)= 18250 Kms… at Zero cost. Wagon R…50Km per day x 365 days (year) x Rs 70 per Litre = 18250 Kms x Rs75 = Rs 12,77,500 Now about lithium ion battery..(Rs 2.5-3 lakh)… (due to more people buying electric car and more cars entering this segment like Nissan Leaf, Tesla roadster, Renault, Honda Fit, Mitsubshi, and many more) there will be mass production which will definitely lower the price of Battery and the price of Petrol will only go up… Subsidy… there is not much our govt is offering and there is no need to beg the Govt to give. There are enough benefits for those who can put in Solar panels near their homes on the roof of their house or in the walls of their building or as window shades, or on their house window grill... "EV’s cannot have clean car image". Why? Not a single ounce of Coal, Petrol or Wood burned while driving a solar charged E2O?... yet its called unclean! Imagine 90 % of our energy coming from Clean Energy Source. Does anyone really think the corrupt govt in our country want the country to be free from Petrol companies who pay the biggest bribes and fund-givers for the political parties? Charging infrastructure: No need for infrastructure. It would have been great if it was there but absolutely I wouldn’t be gagging for it. The car can hold 100km of range… meaning 50km one way and 50 km back… and if I NEED to travel longer… I would carry more battery packs just as I would carry more petrol for travel into the desert in Saudi or Qatar. 8Lakhs… What is 8lakhs?… it is so small today that it cannot buy one a 2bhk house… The best thing about E2O is that nobody would want to steal an electric vehicle… lol If you are waiting for the Govt to provide ANYTHING the charging or the subsidy you can forget it. They are just interested in how much the company making E2O can pay them and since Reva/Mahindra cannot pay the Govt more than what the Petrol producing companies are paying (Relince, etc) it’s a lost cause. If you have space to install solar panel either on the roof top or on the exterior wall of your house or building, or as shade for your windows, then you MUST BUY E2O and it will save you loads of money. Consider at least Rs 2,00,000 saved per year. Even if you are a Public transport user calculate the charges you pay for public transport (rickshaw+train+bus+taxi+occasional rental car) will be more than Rs 7,000 per year…. Oh yes do add the discomfort level also… If you don’t have space for 6 Solar Panels then buying the E2O and charging it through electricity is just about ok. You still will be saving lots of money, have stress free driving as you don’t have to keep changing gears… in city traffic, Travel air-conditioned all the way, great noise free driving, no headache for maintenance & finally having clean environment. Mind it I put the clean environment last as we are not really bound by it… not at all. Driving this car is profitable even in Qatar where the price of petrol is QR1 (Rs15) per litre! Here I have put the full review & calculation… http://www.qatarliving.com/node/14362871

    on May 11, 2013
    • prav

      Hi, thats a long calculation. Let me tell you something in short. This is India and not Qatar, people of india look for cost effectiveness. They want more but want to pay less for the same. Solar Panels !!! carry more battery packs !!! the battery packs cost 1.5 Lk brother (if i put 50k more I will buy a nano !!!). total cost = 8 Lacs car + loan interest + solar panels + 2 battery packs !!!= 8+3lk for baterries= 11 Lks + solar pannels!!! . I will better buy an Toyota Innova and give it on tour business and earn some money or buy a Honda city with that money if im so rich. Also if people would have been so rich they would have never cared for the petrol price !!!

      on May 12, 2013
  • prav

    Correct !!! Looking at the price, it way too expensive. There are to many con's, does not run more than 100 km, lithium battery are crap, what abt battery power when AC is ON, Battery price is 1.5 Lacs!!!, resale value, approx battery life ? its runs at 100km per hr only when its fully charged!!!. looking at the cost and the loan amount repayments for 5 yrs loan I would better go on with a Maruti Alto 800/ K10 than buying this car. No doubt, electric cars are the best for cost saving but the price i too much. on road is 7Lk leave the car loan aside, im not even considering that interest. If i by an alto 800 or a nano, i can get an average of 22 km more over the difference of the price is approx 4 Lks, in that i can by 5300 Ltrs of petrol (Rs 75 litre) and i can drive for approx 1,16,000 KM (average of 22km per ltr)...Which is way better than buying this electric car which cannot take me for long drives also !!!

    on May 4, 2013
    • Johnson

      Exactly...Petrol is expensive in India so it makes more sense to buy Electric Car... now the Mahindra Verito is due this year... which is a full size car In Kerala people have started putting up Solar Panels for their daily Household use to avoid the load shedding... and to avoid electricity bills... for them E2O will have great cost saving multiplier effect ...and as more people buy electric cars the cost of the Solar Panels and the Battery will come down to half. AC? leave the AC in the E2O on even when parked... and there is no one in it.... as it doesnt burn a hole in ones pocket (if solar charged)... Can one do that with any cars (Petrol/CNG/Diesel) today?... People were buying REVA when the battery technology was in a nascent stage there were no mobile phones then... today there is a huge list to choose from... if Li-Ion battery is expensive... one can go in for the old Acid battery... just have to put in water weekly.. just as one puts in water for the wiper... the Music system and onboard display cannot be matched by Honda, Toyota, Mitsubshi for same or even bigger sedan cars... only for highend SUV cars they are giving display screen Petrol Engine is a nightmare... add to that Fuel Tank, Exhaust, and their assembly, there are atleast 95% parts less in an Electric Car... Electric Motor is flawless... how many times have we repaired the ceiling Fan? Me never... I have one in Mumbai that is 20yrs old and still working fine! The only minus point I can see is the odd shape design... the best thing is its like an automatic car... I cant be arsed to drive a manual transmission car... nobody in the gulf drives it... yet Mahindra prefers to ship a manual car here... I dont know if they ever researched the market at all... Next time I come to India I really plan to do a good review of E2O... most of the review I see online are copy paste stuff... except that at Team BHP... where they talk about 2 doors... I mean there are 100s of sportscar, & SUVs with single side doors... (eg: Pajero 4 seater has single side doors) nobody complains... ok maybe for a Sedan this is a first... big deal? In the end more than ANYTHING its about freedom... we produce our own fuel... and travel... dont have to depend on others (Pump, Petro Company, Govt, price hike, labor strike, Petrol Pump strike)... And for technical inspection no need for exhaust, engine, etc checks or anything... ;-)

      on May 14, 2013
  • 7 Reasons you should buy Mahindra e2o: India’s definitive electric vehicle - Speed Mango

    [...] now you can see clearly, the running costs are very low. Some of my peers at Forbes think that this makes no financial sense, but let me put forth [...]

    on Apr 28, 2013
  • vinay

    Excellent review and research and analysis on cost of ownership by Ashsh Mishra. Very convincing and rational. Also go through......... Excellent review down there by Dr Kapashi in riviews aboput REVA.

    on Apr 28, 2013

    The e2o EV is one of the most thoughtful creations from the Mahindra REVA. It will be here to stay and be the way of life for urban transportation soon in the near future. It will replace the old by the new, relieve us of severe urban vehicular pollution and help our children and citizens to breathe fresher air. Not to mention that severe hydrocarbon pollutions from existing vehicles is one of the causes of many lung and other related diseases in urban areas.
    True, the initial cost of e2o is high due to presence of the costly Lithium Ion battery. But let us examine a model of infrastructure which may help to sustain and make the EV convenient & popular.
    Assume that across cities, several hundred charging stations & battery bank kiosks are set up with 24x7 facility for charging with solar panels & conventional power, owned & maintained by the Mahindras or any other OEMs . These charging stations will be manned by trained persons who will do re-charging of the lithium ion batteries and provide service to replace the discharged batteries with charged ones, against a payment.
    This concept may be thought to be similar to replacement of empty LPG cylinders in homes where oil and gas companies own the cylinders and consumers have to pay only for LPG refill price.
    A buyer of e2o will pay once for the cost of new battery along with the car and thereafter will require to pay only for recharging and battery exchange throughout lifetime of the vehicle. Maintenance and upkeep of the battery will be responsibility of the charging stations.
    This model will have several advantages:
    1) It will open up avenue for employment and revenue generation similar to gas and petrol stations.
    2) It will reduce downtime required for EV owners to swap a discharged battery with charged one and make it very convenient option, may be quicker than filling petrol or CNG.
    3) It will relieve people of the need to purchase of a new battery every time life cycle of a battery is exhausted.
    In conclusion, with a proper workable infrastructure, EV and Hybrid vehicles will be technologically and economically better alternative to fossil fuel cars and I hope that more and more people will support the idea for cheaper & greener transportation.

    on Apr 27, 2013
  • Vikas

    You are being too much calculative. Think from the environmental perspective and try to come up to some conclusion which doesn't only talk about money. Seems your focus is only on accounting.

    on Apr 25, 2013
  • R.K.Kishore

    The government has to come up with an idea of investing in these kind of EV`s, As the government is busy raising the fuel prices & not considering the effect on the middle class people, EV`s need to be implemented in INDIA but the price of the vehicles should also be kept in mind. With regard to the company please think of a better design try for a 4 to 5 passenger capacity, Better mileage power & comfort can also be achieved from EV`s, So please people go for EV`s & you will surely see the savings & the difference you cannot regret . Thank you :-)

    on Apr 24, 2013
  • Dr Ketan Kapashi

    I am using Reva Classe model (not Reva i) since 2004. I have driven the car for 60000 kms. Currently I am using third battery pack. Last time it was changed 3 yrs back. 1st battery pack lasted for 3 yrs. Second one only for 1.5 yrs & this last one seems better as driving range is still 45 kms after 3 yrs. When I changed single battery out of total eight in 2005, it costed Rs 8000/-. The whole battery pack costed rs 64000 in 2008. I spent 85000 for last battery pack in 2010. When I purchased the car in 2004, the dealer had told me that battery pack would cost only 15-20000. But I was mislead by him. Whenever, we change battery pack, we need to change some chips in power management system. We need to consider battery pack transportation, labour etc. On both occasions, I have spent about 10000 extra apart from the cost of battery pack. In Reva, I have lead acid batteries 6V 200ah - 8 nos. It requires watering every week or 10 days depending on frequency charging & external temperature. It requires 2 liters of distilled water each time. I have changed all 5 tyres once & all 4 jumpers once apart from battery pack changes. I am informing this so that genuine buyers get can get right information. I am fully satisfied with my Reva so far and I do not intend to change it. If company supports Reva servicing, I would still continue using same car. Due to small size, it is a very very convenient car for city use. It can be parked in a very small space. No one objects to my parking the car in front of their shop as every one is fascinated to see such a small car. People on road whether pedestrian or in their vehicles smile & appreciate small Reva car. So many people still stop me to inquire about car. Most people get disappointed after hearing the cost. I have never been stranded on road anytime since 2004. It is a real good car for medium size cities when one has to travel less than 50-60 kms per day. Mahindra should think of continuing small model in price range of 3-3.5 lacs on road and with lithium batteries it should 5-5.5 lacs on road. Unfortunately the Government charges heavy taxes including VAT, which makes the car costly. Most state Govts are not giving subsidy for EVs. The car is non polluting, fire proof, causes less traffic congestion, requires less parking space, no one will steal it due to less range, terrorists cannot use it for blast as its body is fire proof so does not require security checks at several places. Thus it saves so much of unnecessary expense for Govt. It is high time administrators think of future & help such innovative technologies.

    on Apr 24, 2013
    • Kalpesh

      yes its a good car for a family having extra place within family to park 1+ car, can afford + car in family.. since you cannot do long distance travel in this car. as far as Taxes goes govt will never promote anything where they will loose revenue, so expecting tax exemption is difficult. again I see you switched batteries twice 60000+85000 respectively with use of 60000 km and which cost comes to 2.4 rs/km and I think an maruti 800 would cost the same when you drive using petrol. again its small and easy to park. again I think the bad battery would hurt the environment in a long run since its a acid battery. personally I love and like electric cars, however they need lots of improvements.

      on May 22, 2013
    • Johnson

      good review Doc! At least there are people with positive reviews...lol

      on May 14, 2013
  • Ashwani

    No doubt about your calculations for a person who would be using a car for 10,000 Kms a year or less, but if the person uses the car for travelling to office and it goes beyond 20,000 kms the person would save an outright 140,000. Discounting all other costs of repeated oil change and all other maintenance related issues should result in benefit of more than 1.5Lakh per year. This means the car can return the extra expenses in 2-3 years. If the car can be charged with a normal 15A plug point, at his office the car is ideal for people using their cars daily for office and roaming in the city.

    on Apr 24, 2013
  • Porag

    The economics of reva e20 are definitely under scrutiny post your insightful analysis, however we also need to awake to the fact that we are the third largest contributor to CO2 emissions in absolute terms and that current forecasts place India to account for 10% of global emissions by 2035. Transportation sector, though it accounts for 10% of total emissions is growing very fast and has a huge improvement potential. As a developing economy we have the opportunity to leap frog the mistakes made by the more advanced economies and invest in eco-friendly ventures to cut down on emissions. Though I completely agree with your thoughts on inadequate infrastructure and unclean sources of electricity generation, I also believe that we need to discount the costs of not keeping the emissions under check and take balanced decisions for the pocket and the environment

    on Apr 23, 2013
  • CGN & Associates

    Global pollution is increasing at an alarming rate over the past two decades, which has sparked world leaders, environmentalists and common man to keep the earth green. Automobiles being a major contributor to pollution, auto makers have turned to manufacture greener vehicles (electric cars) which is being considered as pollution free. People feel that electric cars are pollution free but forget the indirect emission contributed by burning of coal to produce the electricity. Experts calculation reveal that emissions contributed by gasoline cars is just slightly greater than emissions from coal plant, producing electricity. But the only benefit is that the oil resources are limited while water and coal are abundant to assist the electricity production. It also makes us entirely dependent on electricity where power scarcity is prevalent in many Indian states. Affordability of such cars could be another hurdle, which the manufacturer needs to overcome by manufacturing cheaper ones. Also, batteries don’t have an exact shelf life to depend on and the performance is not comparable with petrol or diesel engines. Batteries are very costlier and the replacement would take a hit on the maintenance cost. After market service also needs to addressed by the manufacturer and shall not make the customers stranded with unavailability of spares and service. The electric cars shall be replaced by the hybrid cars that run both on battery as well as gasoline. This improvisation would give customer, the choice of operating the car in battery for short city drives (<100) and change the mode to gasoline when the battery is exhausted. Hybrid cars shall also offer the use of solar power to charge, as it is one of the cleanest and free fuel. The infrastructure like charging station at every fuel outlets shall be established for electric and hybrid cars to gain popularity. As this is the start, we need to wait and watch the growth of such cars and the associated government policies to such green initiatives. Till then, a customer would go for a gasoline run cars as they are considerably cheap compared to the electric cars.

    on Apr 22, 2013
  • harkol

    This isn't even a half decent analysis of how things are panning out.
    1. Economics of EV is dependent on mass manufacturing. At present it is a pioneering technology, which is usually a bit more expensive. Remember the days when a 32inch LCD TV cost over 1lakh rupees? Even today Sony's consumer grade Ultra-HD 4K TVs tumbled in price, but still cost above Rs.3Lakhs. Within 5 years, it would be standard TV everyone would buy.
    EV being electronics & electricals, can follow similar (not same) tragectory as manufacturing efficiencies go up.
    - Li-on battery prices have dropped almost 50% in past 4-5yrs, are expected to have similar price drops in next 5. The HW/SW tech involved in managing the car will become cheaper. Only thing that may become expensive are the plastics, mechanicals and the AC Motor inside.
    2. Electricity today is indeed dirty. But, that's changing fast due to Solar PV price plummeting. Since Solar PV is manufactured from Silicon, it's prices keep dropping just like Mobile/Chip prices.
    India achieved Grid power price parity with Solar in 2013. It is expected to be cheaper than Coal within next 5yrs. Within next 20yrs, it is expected to be as cheap as hydro-electricity.
    India gets 7% of its energy from renewables, but within next 5 will get 20% from renewable (far greater than nuclear energy). Even Shell has agreed that by around 2050, majority of world energy will be from renewable sources (especially Solar).
    We need to start taking steps to adjust to coming solar economy, where we will all be power producers in our own homes!!
    3. Carbon emissions are not as simple as you make it out. Carbon emitted in cities (large people density) is more problematic than carbon emissions at a distance.
    Carbon capture too is easier when done in larger plants than in smaller cars. There are clean coal technologies with carbon caputre mechanisms that make coal energy environment friendly. Govt. can enforce clean tech. But, govt. can't do much with car emissions as carbon capture for cars is impractical.
    When cell phones began they began as 'car phones' - which were practically bricks next to driver seats. No one would've thought within 20yrs, each person would have it in his pocket.
    So, leave the cynicism behind.

    on Apr 21, 2013

    I congratulate Mahindra on their achievement but if u really work out the practicality of this car its very costly as the lithium battery will cost between 2 to 3 lakhs to replace after approximately 5 years and dividing that by 5 years + the cost of charging the car with a limited mileage of 100kms a day it works out damn expensive a diesel car would be cheaper also the resale value of the car is not there if u bought a diesel car for 6 to 8 lakhs and sold it after 5 years u would get more for it than the E20. There is also a catch to this that the company does not mention because u have been given a subsidy by the government of Delhi for approx. 1.5 to 2 lakhs u cannot sell the car for a period of 5 years. If u do that u have to refund the subsidy from your pocket back to the government so it’s not worth buying.  The good side is it is currently the cheapest electric vehicle compared to other vehicles abroad 

    on Apr 14, 2013
  • News world

    Poorly researched article. Government of India does offer subsidy to manufacturers of electric car in India. The subsidy is transferred direct to the manufacturer. Don't know the exact amount and how sufficient it is, but this is done.

    on Apr 8, 2013
  • Nohid bashir chougle

    Accept it or not this is going to be the future of automobiles... as per comparison ,earlier installing an CNG in petrol car was considered expensive the major problem remains the charging point.. and the way we produce power in our country if the Govt and companies come together building infra such as solar powered points ,the EVs wont be a concept car anymore

    on Apr 8, 2013
  • devraj dutt

    The economics of electric cars in the USA http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/07/nissan-juke-vs-nissan-leaf-cost-comparisons/

    on Apr 7, 2013
  • Telangana Raja

    India import bill $183 billion on Cruid Import bills, if we replace most with Battery,it also cost the same amount to import lithium battery from CHINA, so we need indigionise the battery technology first,Good news budget raw material on energy cars cut ,thanks to Chidambaramm,Now we have to fallow Netherland with little modification,all state transport system must be energy efficient,in a clear cut throat competition,thank you

    on Apr 7, 2013
  • Rahul Gayam

    Sorry my bad wrong calculation, its always good to double check, anyways if you could find out the Amp-hours on that E2O battery pack then we can guesstimate the price of the battery. for some reason mahindra has chosen not to put it up in its specification list. something all electric car specs have.

    on Apr 6, 2013
  • JD Shah

    Maybe the Govt. could incentivise EV charging at night, by offering a cheaper rate, when there is unused generating capacity - which normally is the case, as loads decrease at night - even at reduced power plant generation. This would effectively make the EV totally clean, in the sense it would not be contributing to any additional pollution - though charging from "dirty energy". It would thus reduce energy waste which happens daily and make the power companies very happy, too.
    Also, by 2015 the CERC expects an almost double clean energy generation - though nowhere the possible 161.4 GW potential estimated for the country. So we could see a good number of areas with totally clean energy - some already are there.
    Battery chemistry, capacities and price are also evolving - If you ever owned a Nokia 8110 in the '90s you'd know you could buy a decent smartphone today for the price of that early lithium pack.
    That said, there is a reluctance towards adopting EVs, and a lot of negativism which just doesn't hold true. This of course leads to low adoption and keeps prices high - which those who can afford will not pay, as their perception of a great car also demands a certain amount of snobbery - quite often found also in car reviewers the world over. And for those who would gladly buy a small electric car - it remains out of reach.
    Other potential buyers are confused by publishing jargon like "range anxiety" - which is definitely myth for an owner! Just like a fossil-fuel vehicle, look at your fuel gauge and you'll never be stuck anywhere. And if you're in an e2o (or Reva) you can even activate an emergency reserve, and get home. When I bought my first EV over 5 years ago, it was amid considerable opposition by friends and family. Many of whom were extremely vocal, promising I'd face dire troubles, and learn my lesson, soon. Fortunately, I found that once you go electric, its hard to turn back! Those same family and friends now keep respectfully silent. At least two around my neighbourhood purchased EVS - one elderly gentleman saying he had watched my "wonder vehicle" for over two years, before making up his mind!
    Giving the reasons here will almost certainly lead to needless debate, so I'd like to ask everyone to wait and watch like my elderly acquaintance. And in then maybe, drive one, one day.

    on Apr 6, 2013
  • Veeresh Malik

    There are a few flaws in the analysis by Forbes,which does appear to be kind of fast and loose, and as a potential customer who has already booked the Mahindra Reva e2o, my analysis shows that:-
    1) The e2o costs me about 6.25 lakhs in Delhi for the upper end version with all the electronic bells and whistles and godies that a car two times that price provides.
    2) In addition, I get automatic transmission in the e2o at 6.25 lakhs, while the WagonR upper end version which costs me abot 5.6 lakhs in Delhi does not.
    3) Most certainly, I get only two doors and a small boot in the e2o So essentially, this is a second car for us, for all those short runs that do exist. But I also get an interesting benefit here - lesser rattling sounds.
    4) I am also assuming that the price of petrol in rupee terms will continue to go up at around 10-12% per annum, while the cost of batteries will come down in rupee terms, this is based on hard analysis. The maths changes totally.
    5) I will have no PUC cost, no cost for replacement lubricants or coolants, and my back-up cost is built in with a 30k for 3 years kind of cover. In addition, the car will be "serviced" once a year, at my premises.
    6) Within the realities that exist, I will not have to deal with the issue of adulterated fuel, or fuel pilferage. In addition, in Delhi, where the electricity utilities have already become customers for this car, I am told I already have access to about 130 charging points, some free, some charged - which are also live on the screen in the car.
    7) I am expecting the local government to soon exempt me from all parking and toll charges - which is in itself a major expense. This however remains to be seen.
    8) My insurance premium is also likely to be lower, because of the way the vehicle is built, and the speed restrictions.
    Certainly, this will not be a mainstream car - to start with. But then, neither was CNG as a fuel when it was launched in India in '95/'96 or so (I was amongst the first hundred or so to convert a Maruti Zen then) and see where India is on CNG and LPG as alternate fuels to the liquid fuel options?

    on Apr 5, 2013
    • Kamlesh Mallick

      I agree with all your points. The cost of the batteries have dropped dramatically. They have dropped in half in the last 4 years. Experts in the field say that they will drop in the next 4 years. Hopefully soon, we will reach a point where the incremental cost of an electric vehicle will compare to that of an internal combustion engine. Congratulations on your purchase. how long do they take to deliver the Mahindra e20?

      on Apr 10, 2013
  • Chandresh

    This car will also follow the trend ...start with Europe ... make it popular in 3-4 year and once every car manufacture starts thinking of making similar model ...the cost will fall down and in 5th year every 3rd or 4th car selling in india would be electric or hybrid ... As in case happened with adoption of solar power plants or in case of smartphone ... Imp. point is needed a pool of manufacture which can install Charging Terminals with a wide network as we have of petrol Pumps ..

    on Apr 5, 2013
  • Apurva Shukla

    Great points and that's the reason, careful govt. intervention would be required for increasing EV penetration. Not a E20 owner but know that Mahindra is also bringing a lot of connected services on their car to make it cooler. This might help them justify higher costs.

    on Apr 5, 2013
  • Tavleen Mehendiratta

    Hmmm...But look at Renault Twizzy on one side, at potentially the same cost as the E2o, it is offering you scissor doors and two doors in tandem fashion, Zoe-Leaf are too expensive and Tesla's different world. So compare apples with apples, what do you think. When horse-less carriages came, horses had to go right! You cannot deny the efficiency of these machines - at least 40% more. Talking of well to wheel as you've mentioned- lets get this clear- electricity can be produced off cleaner sources, we just need to think broader, what say?

    on Apr 5, 2013
    • Ashish K Mishra

      Tavleen, I agree with you. I am making a simple point - in the current scenario, adoption of the e2o looks quite difficult. Let's at least make some progress on generating electricity from cleaner sources. There's too much speculation right now on what will happen in the future - battery costs will come down drastically, energy will be generated from clean sources, charging infrastructure will come in.

      on Apr 5, 2013
      • Avinash Baliyan

        Ashish please also mention in your blog that Final price in Delhi is Rupees 6.75 Lakhs.

        on Feb 10, 2014
      • Rahul Gayam

        How did you arrive at the price of the battery set? Is that the price Mahindra provided you with? Mahindra has nowhere provided the capacity of the battery pack, but judging by the voltage(48V) and time it takes to charge it fully using a 15 amp socket, the maximum battery size is around 3600W-hr. If thats the case then you can consult anyone in the EV battery industry it wont cost more than 1 lakh tops, and when they change the battery kit the whole battery management system need not be changed so you can remove that cost too.

        on Apr 6, 2013
      • Tavleen Mehendiratta

        Well that will largely be a chicken and egg problem then- make electricity clean first or produce a clean car first. So what Mahindra Reva essentially did is broke the paradox and said - here you go, here's the car. But I too think that right from energy storage systems to ground level mobility- there will be disruptive innovation happening here. Since you write on clean energy I will be mostly found crawling over your pages! :-)

        on Apr 5, 2013
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