Mahindra's electric 'ee-too-oh'
INDIAN-BUILT ELECTRIC RIDE: Mahindra's electric e20 will go on sale by 2014. Would you buy this electric budget ride?
India's top utility automaker Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) revealed the country's most advanced home-grown electric car on March 18 2013 with models set to be on sale in 2014.
CUTE AS BUTTON?
It's apparently a cute little thing, at least judging by its name - the e20. The moniker is pronounced 'ee-too-oh' (we can't help but of that famous movie line "ET phone home").
The battery four-seater, two-door e2O has zero emissions, can go as fast as 80km/h and as far as 100km.
Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra said: "This is our vision of the future of mobility. We need to make a clean energy future."
He warned the nation is at a tipping point in terms of road congestion, urban congestion and the environment with "eco-friendly transport the need of the hour".
Mahindra said India has a 1.2 billion population and the pollution from an explosion in the number of cars on roads is creating increasingly grave health problems.
The little car comes from the M&M's $16-billion acquisition of a controlling stake in Indian electric automaker Reva in 2010. The move comes as part of a bid to invest in green technology.
Reva's mechanical engineer Chetan Maini, said the e2O was a "game-changing" vehicle from the tiny, boxy two-seater Reva which was derided by critics as a "golf cart".
The e20 has 10 on-board computers to keep an eye on systems in case anything needs fixing, it will also only take five hours to be fully charged from a 15A power socket. Alternatively, it can also be charged via a solar "sun2car" shield - a detachable canopy fitted with solar panels.
The solar panel is supposed to be an answer to the country's rampant power outages which raised concerns that owners might not be able to charge the car's batteries when they want. M&M also says "these fears are overblown with plans for a network of charging units around major cities."
India's government has also dished out a R37-billion plan to support an electric vehicle network and hopes to have six million electric vehicles on roads by 2020.
M&M said sales will start in Europe and Africa. Mahinda South Africa will know if the car will make its way here in the next few days.
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