Friday, March 27, 2009

India's Other Small Car

Most people are talking about Tata's 'Nano' but fewer are discussing Reva's electric alternative... bad news for the future of the small-car market? Here's what some are saying...

The Reva rolls out in New Dehli, June 2008.

The Reva rolls out in New Dehli, June 2008.

The capillaries of India's cities are clogged with every imaginable form of conveyance: hulking buses, braying bullock carts and motorbikes stacked with families of five. The result is that most of India's commuters idle in traffic for hours a day. The government is trying to play catch-up with a long string of mass transit projects, but most residents pine for the status, peace and luxury of a car of their own.

The Tata Nano, set to launch on Monday after almost a year of delays, is an Indian-manufactured, gasoline-powered car priced at about $2,000. Billed as "the world's cheapest car," it's also a nightmare for environmentalists, who predict sky-high sales will pollute India's already smog-filled air. So why isn't India's other indigenous automotive invention -- the Reva -- taking the world by storm?

The Reva is the world's most successful electric vehicle. It's manufactured on the outskirts of Bangalore, in southern India, and has fans all over the world. In spite of patented technologies, government subsidies, a groundswell of interest in electric vehicles, though, the Reva is unlikely to dent in the global car market with as much force as the Nano.

Read more at 'The Reva, Hope-Bearer for Cleaner Air?'


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