Thursday, May 04, 2006

Reva : The ElectriCity Car

Brand : Reva
Company: Reva Electric Car Co. Ltd

Reva is India's first electric car. The car that can change the way Indians transport and the car which can solve the rising oil prices and the connected inflation problem is waiting for the government of open its eyes. Reva is the brain child of Chetan Maini who conceived this car while he was studying. The company was incorporated in 1995 and the first prototype was launched in 1996. Reva was officially launched in May 2001.

Reva is so far the worlds cheapest commercially produced electric car. This is a two door hatch back that can accomodate two adults and two children. The car uses electricity as the fuel and it can be charged with a 15 Amp socket. A full charge takes 9 hours and 9 units of electricity. The full charge can take you through 80 km making it one of the cheapest mode of transportation in our country.

But so far less than 1000 Reva is sold in our country. While the gas guzzling cars are sold like hot cakes and Indians cursing the oil price hikes, how come this car is selling less? The major problem lies in the price of the car which costs around 2.5 lakh for the standard non ac model. The price is a major deterrant for the potential buyer . The government so far has not given an aota of support for this venture. Had it offered some duty cuts to this car, it would have intensified the interest of auto majors to enter this segment thereby creating more efficient electric cars which will inturn reduce the oil import burden on our exchequer.

But nothing happened. The car is still expensive and suited to small drives . Without government support , this product will remain a niche player. But I feel that this product will have a great future if it can circumvent the price barrier by inventing a vehicle that is in between two and four wheelers ( not kidding), because Reva cannot compete with the Cars, so it have to create points of parity with the two wheelers and with the current price , it cannot target the mass users. So how about a three wheeler for office goers ? If you think I am crazy, check out the BMW c1
Reva have to think out of the box to be a revolution. But Reva is concentrating more on the premium segment with new models with gizmos that costs a fortune some thing similar to VW beetle . While government is acting blind, it is the middle class' pocket that is getting drained with the rising oil prices.