According to reports, “Just imagine travelling from Connaught Place to Delhi international airport for an energy cost of Rs 10 and doing so in air-conditioned, climate controlled comfort in your own car without emitting a single molecule of harmful gases.”
With that preamble, Dr Pawan Goenka, President – Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, set the stage for unveiling the concept electric car – NXR – from Mahindra Reva. The company, he said, was working on an integrated ecosystem to provide that kind of a transport solution.
Mr Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra, said the company wanted to change the future of mobility in India and elsewhere. “We want to change the way people commute. And we want to do it in a way that is responsible, that is clean, that does not tax the planet and that makes the experience of commuting guilt-free and a very joyous one,” he added.
Answering questions, Dr Goenka said the company would launch the electric car before Diwali and would reveal the price and the features at that time.
Mr Chetan Maini, Chief of Technology and Strategy, Mahindra Reva, said in the last one-and-a-half years, they had spent time understanding customers, upgrading technologies and looking at other potential platforms of M&M that could have electric vehicles. The insights were the result of over 180 million km of consumer experience with 4,500 vehicles that Reva had sold in 24 countries. (M&M bought a majority in Mr Maini’s Reva Electric Car Company in 2010.)
Dr Goenka said the feasibility of electric vehicles’ commercial success depended on some kind of subsidy because the cost of battery, controller and motor was still high. Till the volumes increased, manufacturers would continue to need government subsidy.
The Government of India, he said, had a programme to promote electric mobility and the company hoped that it would get ample support from the Government when it was ready to launch the electric vehicles. “I don’t expect anybody to pay a large premium to own an electric vehicle even though in an overall ownership level, they are still affordable,” he said.