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Reva – Maini’s electric car

Posted by Williams on November 24, 2007

On a slightly offbeat note today, I thought I’ll cover the electric car produced by the Maini Group in Bangalore – Reva. It’s an old India based innovation story, but one that is only beginning to get its due.


The car is amazingly small in size compared with the conventional choices available from the more established car manufacturers. This makes it a dream vehicle to commute about in the intensely crowded Indian city streets. However, I would not recommend it for long distance drives on the Indian Highways. The fact that its commutation distance is only 80 km (under ideal conditions) is only part of the reason; the real reason is that safety wise Reva is not as sturdy as its conventional cousins and driving on the highway is a far more risky proposition than driving in your typical evening traffic jams.

Interestingly, it is being sold aggressively in London recently under the brand name of G-Wiz. Apparently, the response has been overwhelmingly positive since certain restrictions in London make owning cars there a very expensive proposition. The car is so tiny that it actually qualified to be sold as a quadricycle, thus bypassing many of the existing car regulations there!

I think Reva is a very decent choice for an urban setting, especially if it is a family’s second car purchase. If the electricity you use to charge the car is coming from renewable sources, the usage of the car is carbon neutral. If the electricity is from more traditional sources, the carbon emissions are two thirds lower than normal and the power consumption is 75% lower than normal.

Not to mention, the cost per distance travelled is as low as 40 paise per km !

It was not a long while back that I said in a post here that we Indians are not getting enough options to get into a carbon neutral lifestyle in India (unlike say in America). Well, this just goes to show what a ridiculous statement that was. No doubt, I’ll make more ridiculous claims in future as well.. 🙂

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