The eagerly awaited Mahindra e2o is finally here so let us dig deep into this new EV. It is produced at Mahindra Reva’s recently inaugurated plant in Bengaluru. This is India’s first "platinum certified automobile plant" and has a rated capacity of 30,000 cars per annum. Started under the project code name NXR, the name was changed to e2o. The Mahindra e2o has been named keeping in mind the overall Mahindra Reva philosophy of “inspired by orange to go green” for sustainable living. The ‘e’ in Mahindra e2o stands for the energy of the Sun which is abundant and clean. The ‘2’ pronounced as ‘to’ signifies the connected technologies in the car, while ‘o’, represents ‘Oxygen’, the life force that sustains all of our existence on Planet Earth. However things are not that rosy as in the earlier Reva there were issues regarding its range and performance as both were limited and sadly both remain in the e2o. The e2o according to Mahindra has a better range and the ability to do higher speeds with passengers but in reality the 81 kmph top speed will mean when packed with four passengers you will be overtaken by a CNG bus on the highway and that is not exactly a great feeling for sure! The problem is that the 25.3 bhp (19 kw) output and 53 Nm torque is just too tiny and cannot give any kind of performance and not to mention getting blown away by every other small car within the similar price point.
Then there is the big issue of range something that affects every electric car. Mahindra says that range on a full charge is about 100 km with the 48 V Lithium ion battery but in reality that figure will most likely be a lot less. Thus other than going to your local shop for buying milk, you can very well forget going anywhere unless you can beg borrow or steal someones electric supply. Though a 15 minute charging will give you a 25 km range and a dead battery can run a further 10 km, it still not feasible to go anywhere without suffering the anxiety. Things like using the music system or even going fast (?) will reduce the range so it goes withour saying that you will have to drive it like a monk.
Plus it lacks any kind of pesence though it is a damn sight better than the earlier Reva. The styling has been done by Dilip Chabbria but even he has not quite managed to add sparkle to the design. The front is decent but the odd squared up side view and 80's rear styling does nothing for the eye. The tiny dimensions also mean that it lacks presence of any kind. The plastic body and the large panel gaps further are not excactly great news either.The interior though more spacious and having features like an audio system and GPS is bland and cannot be compared to cars at the similar price point.. Lack of two more doors means that practicality is hampered quite a lot. Getting into the rear is a pain and the fact that the rear windows do not wind down would just add to the claustrophobic feeling.
The e2o will only work as a four-seater but all the four poeple in the car will have to be svelte. Headroom is tight but a lot better than the earlier Reva. The e2o has some unique features like regenrative braking and smart phone lock (there is an app where you can operate things like the aircon from your smart phone) but some small questions regarding the reliablity remain. The e2o is priced at Rs 5.96 lakhs (on-road) Delhi and is simply overpriced plus considering the limtations it is just not practical enough. So just like its predecessor this one will remain a rare sight on the roads.