Reva cars have been designed to be nimble, simple electric cars for non-polluting urban travel. They have been designed for inner-city use, where performance and long-distance driving is not a major requirement. Reva electric cars are small city cars with seating for two adults and two children. Depending on model they are capable of top speeds of between 65km/h and 80km/h (40-50mph) and have a range of up to 75km (48 miles) with 'lead acid' batteries, and up to 120km (75 miles) with lithium batteries. The car is 'fuelled' by plugging the car directly into a standard domestic power socket. An 80% charge takes a little over two hours whilst a 100% charge takes around 8 hours to complete. Reva electric cars were first manufactured in 2001. Since then, over 2,500 Reva electric cars have been sold around the world. The largest market is the UK where the Reva is called the G-Wiz and over 1,000 cars have been sold.
The car is currently offered as a 2 door hatchback, fully automatic with tubeless tires, remote-controlled air conditioning, climate controlled seats. Unique features include electronic regenerative brakes, maintenance free AC motor and a unique boost mode, which offers up to 40% more power. Technical specifications include a payload of 227 kg, a top speed of 80 km/hour and a charge time of 80% in 2.5 hours or 100% in 8 hours. The integrated power system is comprised of motor (high torque (52 Nm), AC induction motor); controller (350 Amp microprocessor based with regenerative braking); charger (330V, 2.2 kW, high frequency switch mode type and a power pack of 8 batteries of 48V, 200 Amp-hr, lead acid batteries. Each battery costs approximately Rs. 5,500 (US$110). The car plugs into a standard 220V outlet fitted in a typical household. The REVA is very compact, measuring 2638 mm x 1324 mm x 1510 mm and has a very less curb weight of 700 kg.
The REVA is certainly not considered low cost and is not to be confused with a family car. The inner space is enough for only 2 people and barely can carry a medium-size suitcase plus a laptop bag or a carry-on style luggage. The seating and aesthetics deliberately appeal to the ‘urban warrior’ – a professional, student or anyone wanting a second vehicle for the home. The car comes in three versions starting from the standard to A/C and then top of the line Class-e model. The net price to customer (after the subsidy/exemption) ranges from Rs. 300,000 (or US$6,100) to Rs. 389,000 (US$8,000). This puts the REVA in a price bracket of numerous other vehicles in the small-size segment category in India, for example, the TATA Indica, Hyundai Alto, Maruti Zen and Hyundai Santro which are all under Rs. 400,000 (US$8,200) The REVA costs about 40 paisa per kilometre to run or Rs. 40 (US$0.82) per 100 km. This is based on the battery requirement of 9 units of electricity for a full charge and the operating cost, given factual price of 4 rupees per unit. Over a period of five years, the savings to the customer can potentially total Rs. 220,000 (US$ 4,500) when compared to the most economical petrol models available in the market today at current fuel prices. These savings accrue due to reduced service and equipment expenses (EV’s do not have spark plugs, fan belts, and have a computer based diagnostic system) and on average, a person saves anywhere around Rs. 4,500 or US$90 per month on gasoline bills alone.
The Competition and Marketplace:
Today there are no competitors for the REVA on Indian market. Toronto based Electrovaya and India’s TATA Motors have partnered to produce the electric version of TATA Indica hatchback. Also Hyundai has plans to launch the hybrid vehicle Avante, which will be powered by LPG and will adopt advanced lithium polymer batteries. Hyundai is the second largest car manufacturer in India, behind Maruti Suzuki Ltd. Tata Motors Ltd. is in third place. ElectroTherm...