Reva, the electric car

Ever since I saw a REVA a few years ago, I’ve been intrigued by it. The REVA takes the word compact to another level, but has that whole Love Bug [1} kinda feel to it. You’ve probably sighted a REVA, especially if you live in Bangalore. (Their website says that the cars are available in six cities.)

The car’s supposed to be able to accommodate two adults and two minors and I’ve seen people driving with kids in their back seat, so it works for some. I’ve never been inside the Reva so I can’t say if it’s comfortable, especially if you’re somewhat tall, like I am. [2]

The whole idea of an electric car which doesn’t spew out fragrant smoke and fumes is nice. Environmental brownie points. And, if you ask about the economics, here’s an answer from their website , but what the heck, they’re not paying me anyway:

The REVA uses 9 units of electricity for a single full charge that gives up to * 80 KM in city driving conditions. This works out to 40 paise per km (less than 1 US cent). The average running cost of a petrol car is Rs.4.0 per km.

Since the REVA does not have an engine, clutch or gears, or a carburetor, radiator, exhaust etc, the maintenance cost is low. Estimates show that the maintenance costs of REVA are 40 % lower than that of a small car over a 3-year ownership period.

REVA is the cheapest commercially produced electric car in the world.

They talk about the charging system as well and it seems like you’d need to have a garage or be near a socket, so that’s a bit of a constrait.

It has an on- board charger along with a charge cable and can be charged anywhere, at home or at work, by simply plugging in to a 220 Volt, 15-Ampere socket. A full charge a attained in 5 hours and 80% charge in 2 and a half hours.

You can check out some pictures of the REVA and also read about electric vehicle myths .

I don’t know when I’ll be able to get a REVA. If you’re one of those cool people who owns one and wants to give me a ride, I’m game.

I promise to fold my legs and hold my tongue. Till I get to my blog that is.

[1]: For all you VW Beatle fans, I am not comparing the REVA to the VW Beatle.

[2]: To be fair, it is meant to be a city car and probably for nuclear families and not meant to ferry around luggage and twenty people. Get an Ambassador if you want that.


8 thoughts on “Reva, the electric car

  1. been in one and I think its a cool car, especially with the a/c. burns the hell out of a bajaj. Has no one tried a fuel cell link up to it ? That is the main issue with it, it pollutes as much or more if it uses fossil fuel power. The same with a fuel cell unless it uses Hydrogen from non fossil power.

  2. You make a good point, something that I always wonder when people talk about non-polluting vehicles. Like you said, if you’re using electricity, which was generated by using fossil fuels, then you may not be doing much. I guess you have to study how much electricity is used and what that translates to, in terms of non-direct pollution. Beyond the scope of this blog, but something to ponder.

    On a separate note, good to hear that it’s a cool car. Now, I’m looking forward to a ride in a Reva. Any takers? ;-)

  3. it is a nice car.. but to make it popular they have to cut down its cost… once they make is a lac or 2 lac.. then they will be spotted more in the roads than the bikes or anything else…..

  4. I like the concept of a car running on batteries. Wonder how would the ignition (START) be felt? I guess its as silent as OFF and no starting troubles if the batteries are charged ;) ( Never owned one )

    If Reva was such a cool car why are we not seeing so much of them on Roads? I think it maybe due to their Range, Space, Looks , cost and the way it is marketed.

    Why do they use Lead Acid Batteries ? Why not the Lithium Polymer which weighs much less, lasts longer, more durable and delivers more power ? Li-Po Batteries deliver Flat voltage unlike sealed Lead Acid batteries which declines the o/p voltage while in use. With the right charge control electronics they are safe too.

    I dont think it will cost much to have Reva Re-designed to look like an IC ( Internal Combustion) Hatch-Back car with ABS plastics. Regenerative Recharging may include solar panels as well. It would be cool if the car gets atleast 5% of its charge while parking it in the Sun. That saves a lot.

    Maybe the Reva guys are doing a great job about to be out with an indigenious plan to outsell all other IC cars. Great Concept guys all the best !!!

  5. Sinu: I haven’t driven a Reva either, so your guess are as good as mine, probably better. :)

    I’m not sure if a noiseless start is a great idea because you do want some sort of feedback that the car has started. Maybe a beep or something. I’m guessing here.

    About the redesign, it’s probably because they want to keep it small, compact, and light and different.

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