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Mahindra e2o review, test drive

Mahindra Reva’s e2o is a new-generation electric car that has had a long gestation period. It started life as the NXR concept designed by Dilip Chhabria (DC), benefited hugely by the experience of Mahindra when the Indian UV maker bought into the company and is today built in a futuristic, all-new state-of-the-art plant in Bangalore.

Mahindra Reva's e2o is a new-generation electric car that has had a long gestation period. It started life as the NXR concept designed by Dilip Chhabria (DC), benefited hugely by the experience of Mahindra when the Indian UV maker bought into the company and is today built in a futuristic, all-new state-of-the-art plant in Bangalore.

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Electric cars haven't managed to penetrate into the mainstream and the company's earlier car, the Reva i was pretty far off from being either practical or useable. The new e2o, however, promises to deliver more of both.

Mahindra has done a decent job of translating DC's NXR concept into the production e2o, but as often happens; a considerable amount has been lost in translation. Fit and finish of the multi-layer high-impact plastic body is improved, but some large gaps, like the one for the door, remain.

But ask for more power or a sudden burst of acceleration and the e2o disappoints. For improved performance you need to select 'B' or 'boost' via the gear selector. Once you do this, throttle reposes are slightly sharper and there's a bit more tug in the mid-range. Acceleration till around 40kph is quite strong, but after that the power delivery soon tails off even in boost mode. And the e2o tops off around 80kph.

The e2o's mechanical layout is similar to earlier Revas. Its uses a tubular and box section chassis, the body is made of high-strength plastic and the electric motor sits behind the rear wheels. The all-important lithium-ion batteries are placed below the front seats. The new car has been crash-tested in Spain, it uses 10 on-board computers and Reva has come up with a number of innovative solutions for which it has filed 30-odd patents. You can plan your trip with the help of Google Maps, the software telling you how far you can go before having to turn back. You get an additional 10km of 'limp home' range before your battery completely dies and Reva can even 'revive' your dead battery and give you a further 10km still, all via a remote link to your car. A 15-minute quick charge can get you 25 additional kilometres, you are connected to the car via a phone app that can start your air-con for you, lock and unlock the Reva, and the company even sells a solar charger for the car for approximately 1.5 lakh (The Sun2Car program can get you a free 50-60 percent charge every day, sunlight willing).

  • First Published Date : 18 Mar 2013, 12:57 PM IST