The US, Europe, and Japan have led the way in building and buying electric vehicles, though China has been making a push towards electrification as well. Could India be a player in the global electric car world as well? Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra thinks so, as it wants to sell its Reva e20 compact electric car to Europeans, says the International Business Times.
Mahindra has had its eyes on expanding beyond India for a while now, including a failed attempt to import a diesel-powered compact pickup to the US. Mahindra also attempted to become a major player in India’s basically non-existent EV market, and though the country pledged to put some 7 million EVs on its roads by the end of the 2020, annual sales of the Reva have been around 1,000 cars.
Mahindra’s response has been to slash the price of the Reva for Indian customers, and try to recoup its investment on the Reva by importing it to Europe. Europeans are turning to electric cars in greater and greater numbers, and while the Reva is sold in some 24 other minor markets, Europe has the money to make it a success. The key to its success will be an extremely low cost compared to EVs like the Nissan LEAF, which can go 84 miles per charge to the Reva’s approximately 62 to 75 miles.
The Reva costs just $11,900 to $16,000, even when equipped with features like smartphone capability and GPS, which is about one-third of what a Nissan LEAF sells for after incentives in many European countries. The Reva e20 could end up undercutting even the Renault Twizy, while offering a number of luxury features (like doors) that the French runabout doesn’t have.
Of course, if it doesn’t happen, that wouldn’t be any surprise either. The Tata Nano was supposed to be imported to Europe and America by now, but like the aforementioned Mahindra pickup, it just didn’t happen. Will the Mahindra Reva e20 be the first Indian car to find success in a market dominated by the traditional auto industry? Or is it just another false start?