Monday, April 6, 2009

A rajpal's plug for Reva

Arunachal Pradesh Governor, General (retd) J.J. Singh drives a Reva on the Raj Bhavan estate at Itanagar. The Raj Bhaven maintains two electric cars. And they have done 20,000 km each.

Though the Bangalore-based car makers have been in business for nearly a decade there are less than 3,000 Revas on road worldwide. The car, they say , can do 80 km on a charge - suited for today's city mobility. It doesn't pollute; it is sized small enough to work its way through Bangalore's traffic jam; has space enough to fit in a family of four - two kids,mom and dad. Reva has an onboard charger, for easy plug-in into any 15 Amp socket at home or at work.

And yet, the urban middle-class hasn't taken to it. Reva is seen, not so much a utility vehicle, as a fashion statement by green-minded freaks . Bangalore, they say, has fewer Revas than London. The car is sold in United Kingdom, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Japan, Srilanka, and it has been test marketed in Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Nepal. Marketing the car in India is about changing middle-class mindset. Besides, Reva remains positioned as the second car in a two-car family.

China, they say, is poised to develop its electric car; and they do things on a massive scale. This development has raised the question whether mass marketing electric car is indeed a green option. In China, 80 percent of electricity comes from coal-driven power plants. And putting electric cars on road would only shift carbon emission from city roads to the areas where power plants are located . Besides, China is associated with dumping its products, cheap in foreign markets.

Where does this leave Reva, which has plans to step up its production to 36,000 cars a year, from its current level of 6,000 cars? Reva can find its future in a solar-driven hybrid car, with provision to plug-in when it gets cloudy. Maybe they are thinking in these terms. Reva's CTO Chetan Maini, in his university days at Michigan had raced a solar electric car from Florida to Michigan. He was also in the General Motors sponsored World Solar Challenge, a 2000-mile drive from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia.


Bud-Wiser said...

Hmm..Nothing against You,,But I seem to rubbish a lot of ideas in this Blog.
I had written a post about electric cars in India on march 17th, and gave some reasoning why its not such a good idea, you might want to read it..
Titled 'Battery powered cars in India?Are you sure?'

The link is -->

Again,,Nothing personal..;-)!!

Arobindo said...

hmm... I think it is a good idea...especially the part of solar + battery... I think that would work.

In India, the use of alternate source of energy is really very low...especially considering the amount of Sun and wind power we have at our disposal.

All in all, I think with a bit of help from the big car-makers a environmental friendly option can be made available

Govinda Nelyaru said...

I have 1800 W solar panel which can easily top up the battery for my 40 km per day usage. I cannot afford list price of 400 K plus for Reva but could have had no pollution driving. BTW I am a farmer not paying income tax and not having depreciation benefits. Maybe driving using solar power is justified ??

Like Arobindo said me can combine driving and solar.