Mahindra Reva NXR electric car (Image: Mahindra)Enlarge Photo
Most of the attention paid to plug-in electric cars goes to Nissan, Chevy, and Tesla.
But in other countries, the hope of running small cars on grid power--no matter how unreliable that grid may be--lives as well.
In India, the large truck maker Mahindra & Mahindra is preparing to launch the Reva NXR electric minicar, and spy shots are cropping up on Indian websites.
The Reva company was founded to build low-speed neighborhood electric vehicles, including the infamous G-Wiz that was for a while the best-selling electric car in England.
Mahindra acquired Reva last year after the smaller company ran into financial difficulties.
It streamlined and incorporated Reva into its larger vehicle operations, with projects like a proposed plant in Syracuse, New York, quietly taken off the table.
It had shown its designs for the NXR at the Frankfurt Motor Show fully three years ago, but has been refining the car into a production-ready vehicle in the interim.
The NXR shown in 2009 had a range of 50 miles in its base form, with a top speed of 55 mph--enough for various types of duty in urban India.
It's a two-door hatchback minicar, with space for two adults in the front and two children in back.
A 30-kilowatt (39-hp) electric motor powers the front wheels, and range has now been raised to 100 miles with a top speed of about 60 mph.
According to IAB, the NXR will be renamed the E20--pronounced "E-two-oh"--to correspond to traditional Mahindra nomenclature.
The Reva E20 is likely to be launched before the end of the year, and will be built at a new Mahindra Reva factory in the Indian city of Bengaluru.