Reva to roll out two new electric cars soon



Reva to roll out two new electric cars soon Bangalore: The maker of India's sole battery-run car, Reva Electric Car Co., is setting up a second plant in the country's tech hub to roll out two new models next year for domestic and export markets, a top company official has said.

"We are investing Rs 300 million (Rs 30 crore) in the second plant that will eventually have an installed capacity of 30,000 units per annum," Reva co-founder and deputy chairman Chetan Kumar Maini said.

The 14-year-old firm has raised USD 20 million (Rs 960 million) from global investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Global Environment Fund for this.

The company displayed prototypes of the two models at the 63rd Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) September 15-27.

The first model - Reva NXR (next revolution) -- is a four-seat, two-door hatchback family car.

The second model -- Reva NXG (next generation) -- is a sporty two-seater with a targa roof, designed by renowned automotive designer Dilip Chhabria.

"We plan to roll out NXR by mid-2010 and NXG a year later (mid-2011)," Maini said on the sidelines of a conference.

"Export version of NXR will run on a Lithium Ion battery, with a top speed of 104 km per hour and a range of 160 km on a full charge. The lead acid battery variant, with 80 kmph speed and 80 km per charge, will be sold in the domestic market," he added.

The 14-year-old firm, a joint venture with AEV LLC of the US, has a greenfield plant in the Bommasandra industrial area on the outskirts of the city, with an installed capacity of 6,000 electric vehicles (EV) per annum.

"We have exported about 1,500 cars to 24 countries across Europe, Asia and South America over the last five years. Global auto dealers have shown keen interest in the new models at the Frankfurt auto show," Maini asserted.

Though Reva has been pitching hard to sell its electric cars in the domestic market since 2003, lack of awareness and absence of an official policy to encourage eco-friendly cars, as in Europe and lately in the US and China, have proved to be obstacles.

As a result, sales of Reva cars in the domestic market have been stagnant unlike in the case of petrol/diesel passenger cars, which have registered double-digit growth over the years, with a range of models across segments.

"The new plant will have one of the lowest dust-to-dirt carbon footprints of any car in mass production," Maini said.

Reva has formed a joint venture with global automaker General Motors India to roll out an electric version of GM's Spark compact car platform next year for the domestic market. The tie-up will also enable Reva to market its vehicles through GM's distribution network.

The joint venture will work with the Central and state governments to build infrastructure for electric vehicle charging and providing incentives to consumers.

"To fight global warming and reduce carbon emissions, electric vehicles cars are an alternative to fossil fuel-driven cars. Though awareness of impact of climate change is growing, pro-active policies and incentives by the government will encourage people to go for eco-friendly transport system," GM India managing director Karl Slym said.

IANS