Mahindra hopes to ride high on electric hatchback

Bengaluru, Oct 24 (IANS) Six years after foraying into the electric segment ahead of its times, automotive major Mahindra is hoping to ride high on a four-door battery-driven hatch back with a host of innovative features.

“Our new city smart car ‘e2o plus’ is powered by electric drive train technology to ride through city traffic at 85 kmph top speed up to 140 km, with its battery fully charged 90 minutes for 14 units of power,” said Mahindra Electric Chief Executive Arvind Mathew on Monday.

The $18 billion Mumbai-based Mahindra group acquired majority stake (55.2 per cent) in the city-based Reva Electric Car Ltd in May 2010 for an undisclosed amount and invested an additional Rs 45 crore to roll out a two-door advanced version of the electric car as an alternative fuel-based passenger vehicle.

Though electric cars failed to take off in India despite giving a most economical mileage of 70 paise per km, zero emission and a slew of tax exemptions and incentives, Mahindra is betting on setting a trend with its new model in the mass market segment.

“We are confident that the new electric hatchback in four variants will become a popular transport mode in cities and towns, as it has many smart features like other compact cars in the same segment,” asserted Mathew.

Priced between Rs 6.73 lakh and Rs 9.51 lakh, the e20 plus has remote diagnostics through telematics, connectivity through smart phone app, advanced infotainment system, regenerative braking, reserve charge and automated messages.

“Our new electric car is an amalgam of advancements in automotive technology, electronics and IT. With such advanced features, home-charging facility, easy manoeuvrability and affordable ownership, we are sure e2o plus will be accepted as a mainstream car,” claimed Chief Executive-designate Mahesh Babu.

The regenerative braking charges the car battery when brakes are applied, helping the vehicle recover the energy it dispenses.

“In the absence of a heavy engine or moving parts lagging the power output, the hatchback provides an instant torque to zoom when its engines are cranked.”

The model also benefits from the government’s FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles) scheme, which offers Rs 1.38 lakh incentive to its buyers as part of the national electric mobility plan, in addition to lower or zero taxes and subsidies from many states.

The company launched its first all-electric zero-emission sedan eVerito in June, priced at Rs 9.5 lakh.

The company also unveiled earlier this month (October 6) an all-electric cargo and passenger van under eSupro brand.