India has launched its first production electric vehicle (EV), the Reva (Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Alternative). The Reva, produced in Bangalore, India, is the product of a joint venture between the Reva Electric Car Co., which is part of Maini Group, and AEVT (Amerigon Electric Vehicle Technology) in Irwindale, CA. The Reva has a 91% local content.
Designed as a city car, the 104-in. (264-cm) long Reva hatchback can carry two adults and two children. It rides on a 67-in. (170-cm) wheelbase and has a curb weight of 1,430 lbs. (649 kg).
With a turning radius of just 11.5 ft. (3.5m), it is ideal for India's narrow and congested urban streets. Top speed is 40 mph (64 km/h), with a range of about 50 miles (80 km). Regenerative braking and low-rolling-resistance Michelin tires help extend range. Charging — using an onboard 220-volt charger — takes six hours, or three hours for an 80% charge.
The Reva uses eight 6-volt Exide Technologies 3ET200 lead-acid batteries; they're located under the front seat to improve the Reva's center of gravity, increasing stability. The batteries feature tubular technology for extended deep-cycle life and superior shock and vibration resistance. The 3ET200 battery has an expected service life of three years, or about 25,000 miles (40,000 km). Batteries are manufactured at Exide's facility in Gandhinagar, India, and distributed under the Exide Technologies' Chloride Motive Power brand. A high-torque, separately excited DC motor delivers 17.4 peak hp to the rear wheels.
Reva's steel spaceframe is covered with dent-resistant, high-impact ABS panels. Safety features include side impact beams, an underhood crush zone and front and rear impact absorbers. The suspension system uses McPherson struts in front and coil springs in the rear. Rather than a conventional HVAC system, the Reva has Amerigon's Climate Control Seat (CCS) as an option for cooling, heating and ventilating. CCS features a solid-state heat pump and is extremely efficient, typically consuming only 10% of the energy of a conventional automobile air conditioner.
Although initial sales will be in India, market studies show market potential for EVs in China, Brazil and Mexico. At an equivalent price of $7,000, the Reva will be the lowest-priced car sold in India.