Reva charges up with new strategy to drive electric car growth

Manu P Toms, Hindustan Times
Mumbai
First Published: 21:14 IST(24/10/2012)
Last Updated: 21:17 IST(24/10/2012)
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Even as Mahindra Reva prepares to launch its first four-seater electric car NXR by November end, the company is aggressively working to fight off “range anxiety” —  the customer concern over the company’s ability to power the car’s batteries.

The company is tying up with electricity distribution companies, malls, entities such as State Bank of India and Café Coffee Day to install charging stations, besides putting plug points at Mahindra dealerships and Mom & Me stores.

“By the time of launch we will have 50-200 charging stations per city. We want to ensure that within five kilometres or so there is a place for charging,” Chetan Maini, chief technology officer and founder, Reva, told HT. “In Delhi, we tied up with electricity distribution company which installed 50 charging points.”

In Bangalore companies such as Infosys and Wipro provide charging points for their staff. “SAP has 25 plug points,” said Maini. With Mahindra’s marketing muscle and sales network behind it, Reva looks to sell 10,000 battery-powered cars in a year.

The company is banking on lower interest rates and easy finance options to steer growth.

While State Bank of India is already offering lower interest rate for loans for electric cars, Mahindra Finance will launch attractive finance schemes for Reva cars. The company also hopes that the restoration of government subsidy for electric vehicles will push sales of this car. Electric cars earlier received a subsidy of Rs. 1 lakh, which was withdrawn since April, as the new policy was being formulated.

Reva is also banking on the recently-launched National Electric Mobility Mission 2020 for a nationwide rollout of charging infrastructure.

The company will also announce another innovative technology to addresses range anxiety at the time of launch,” he added.


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