The Mahindra REVA e2o has been a sale dud in India, thanks to the high price tag that comes with the electric vehicle. With no subsidies from the government, lack of infrastructure and the NEMMP 2020 being far out of sight, Mahindra is finding it difficult to push the e2o out of showrooms. The company will start exporting the electric car to the UK, Norway and Sri Lanka by the end of 2014, where there is a higher demand for such vehicles.
Several international markets offer subsidies to promote the use of electric vehicles in order to curb CO2 emissions, helping manufacturers price the car more competitively. Moreover, users also get exemption from a number of taxes that otherwise would be applicable to conventional vehicles. Both the UK and Norway provide huge subsidies on electric vehicles, where Norway has zero-import duty to promote the e-vehicle concept. The Mahindra REVA e2o for the European markets will be equipped with more power and an extended battery range.
The e2o will also get additional features like a power steering, ABS and airbags as standard, which are mandatory for cars sold in Europe. Sri Lanka on the other hand will get the standard e2o, not very different from the Indian version. However, the prices will see a huge drop as the country too provides subsidies on electric vehicles. The company recently commenced exports of the e2o to Nepal and Bhutan which offer subsidies on electric vehicles and is looking forward to capitalise on the first mover advantage in these markets.
Mahindra REVA in India recently reduced the price of the e2o by Rs. 1.70 lakhs by offering the battery rental scheme option. The base price of the new vehicle is now comparable to conventional hatchbacks, while the lithium-ion batteries can be rented from Mahindra itself at a nominal monthly price. The use of electric vehicles in India though is very restricted due to the lack of infrastructure and the dismal amount of help from the government. Will the new scheme from Mahindra make a difference in sales? We don’t think so.