Mahindra & Mahindra's e20 Is A New, Tiny, All-Electric, Four-Seater Car That Can Be Charged By The Sun

Welcome to India's crowded streets, little auto.

Mahindra & Mahindra have revealed the e20 in India, an all-electric, four-seat ultra-compact car, sporting a "minimum" 62-mile range from a single charge of its lithium ion batteries. It's reportedly the country's only all-electric passenger car and costs Rs 596,000 ($11,000 after state subsidies). It can also gain charge from sunshine using M&M's "Sun2Car" system.

The car comes from the Reva Electric Car Company, which M&M bought in 2010, and M&M says it plans to extend the technology in the e20 to two-seat cars in the future. To support the electric vehicles, M&M has set up over 250 charging stations in different cities, 95 in Delhi alone.

In 2009 it was revealed that Riva and GM were investing in designing a small electric car for India's roads, based partly on GM's Spark mini car. It's not known whether M&M is planning on bringing its innovation overseas to markets in the U.S. or EU, but it is conceivable that companies like GM may view the e20 as a test case for small ultra-cheap electric cars in their own markets. Previous U.S.-Mahindra relationships have gone sour, though, with allegations from Buick and Toyota dealers that Mahindra swindled millions of dollars in cash and a hundred million dollars worth of trade secrets.

Could a tiny electric car like this challenge the gas-glugging giant cars on U.S. roads--or is its real innovation its incredibly low price?

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4 Comments

  • ron ban

    BTW Kamlesh I think it is a blessing in disguise that the Indian govt does not offer too much subsidies. This forces the Indian companies to try their best to get a product out that is fairly cheap even without subsidies. Then if they export to Western markets where subsidies exist, it'll be really cheap there!

  • ron ban

    GM and Toyota ought to not complain too much about Mahindra's alleged theft of trade secrets... since the only thing Chinese car firms ever do is steal trade secrets. But of course that never stops Western firms and govts from kowtowing to China......

  • kamlesh gk

    Hey,

      I watched the live webcast of the launch.  There is tremendous excitement here in India bout this.  The big problem is our government is a very passive one and there are no subsidies and that makes it slightly expensive for the average indian consumer.

    The car is fantastic.
    I mean check out the features.

    Charging is 15 Amp socket - Full charge - 5 hrs 

    Range = 100km

    Lithium Ion battery = 4 times lighter than Lead Acid

    e20 - has a system connected to satellite.  

    Thus use an iOS/Android/Blackberry device and stay connected to your e20

    Basically use the mobile phone to remotely activate stuff on your car. 

    Example - Turn ur AC on the car using your mobile phone remotely.

    What is u run out of charge?

    Patented Revive technology.   Pick up our smart phone and press - 'Revive' button.   This remotely provides 8-10km of backup energy.

    Infrastructure - Charging network is available on our smartphone.

    10 onboard computers = Energy Management system.  Remote debugging of issues, crash reports sent to Mahindra etc.   Fixing issues remotely is possible.

    The car also has a 6.2 inch touch screen display system (Mp3 player - this screen is connected to main computer system of the car).  You can gauge the energy efficiency, how u have driven over the last 6 days, more reports on energy efficiency.

    Car has a navigation system, Charging station, indicates the distance that is used.

    Regenerative braking - As u take our foot of the accelerator pedal, u get energy into your battery.

    This is perfect for Indian stop and go traffic.

    Other Features - 

    Keyless entry, hill mode  etc

    Lots of luxury sedans dont have these features.
    Its a bold approach by Mahindra to crack the EV market here in India.
    I hope they can pull it off.