Reva, the Indian electric car company, says its namesake vehicle was the best-selling on-road electric vehicle in the world last year. Never heard of it? The company’s numbers so far may be modest — 2,500 vehicles on the road — but there are indications that it’s about to explode.$9,000 for an electric car with a 50 mile range doesn't sound bad. Not as cheap as rival Indian car manufacturer Tata's Nano, but 1/10 the price of electric car rival Tesla's Roadster. And many more colors to choose from as well.
The carmaker just announced that it will launch another model by the end of 2008, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg; it plans to launch one new vehicle every calendar year. And a company spokesman says Reva will ramp up its annual production from 6,000 to around 30,000 vehicles in the next six months.
The company can thank its first mover advantage, a low price tag and a keen sense of targeting emerging markets for its early success. If you haven’t heard of Reva, you’re about to. The Bangalore-based company’s cars are getting popular in congested urban areas (like Delhi and London), and are gaining traction in island destinations (like Cyprus), where vehicles with shorter ranges and low environmental impact are particularly attractive.
It’s researching lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries to extend range and increase performance. And its cost is relatively low — $9,000 for a range up to 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) per battery charge, according to the New York Times.