Electric cars are not exactly the toast of the market with limited charging and range issues continuing to restrict their growth. Mahindra has launched its new four-door hatchback, the e2oPlus, at a starting price tag of Rs 5.46 (ex-showroom, Delhi) to bring some visible change on low cost of operations.
The four-seater car is available in four variants, one entry level for fleet and three for private ownership, which will provide a range of up to 140 km in the top end variant on one single charge.
Mahindra claimed with its low running costs, at around 70paise/km, the e2oPlus beats almost all other cars.
"It is the cheapest car to run and operate in the market. We have been conscious of the price customers are willing to pay and this makes a terrific proposition for an emerging market like India," said Pawan Goenka Executive Director, M&M Ltd.
The concept of regenerative braking, which charges the battery of e2oPlus every time its brakes are applied, has been applied, helping the car recover the energy it dispenses. The absence of a heavy engine or moving parts provides instant torque to zoom the minute its engines are cranked.
Mahindra Electric has also added REVive, a first in the world feature where on a rare occasion it can provide 5-10 km of range, to help the user reach home or the nearest charging station after the battery has drained.
"We have also provided Hill Assist that prevents the e2oPlus from slipping backwards or forwards on a slope, making it accelerate without any jerks. I am confident that with its technologically advanced features, home charging facility, easy manoeuvrability and affordable ownership, the e2oPlus will soon be accepted as a mainstream car. There has never been a better time to embrace electric vehicles as it not only serves the purpose of a smart city car, but also fulfils the need to contribute positively to the environment," says Pravin Shah, Director at Mahindra Electric.
The company claimed that it has sold around 2,300 units of various electric vehicles it manufacturers and went short of sharing a future forecast. "In the past we have seen that the market growth has been affected by various factors, so it won't be appropriate to give any future outlook," Goenka clarified.
Mahindra bought Reva Electic Car Company in 2010 with the strategy to drive the electric car market but the growth has been quite lackadaisical. Demand for electric vehicles has been limited in few cities like Bangalore and Delhi where state governments have extended fiscal incentives to promote green cars. In Delhi, there is a concessional VAT on electric cars and exemption from registration tax that make them substantially cheaper than fossil fuel cars.