MR. ARVIND MATHEW. THE CEO OF MAHINDRA REVA. TALKS ABOUT THE ONLY ECOFRIENDLY CAR IN INDIA. AND THE ADVANTAGES. CHALLENGES AND THE COUNTRY’S GROWING RESPONSE TO THE SAME
When did the concept of making an eco-friendly car strike?
As a student at the University of Michigan, the founder of Reva, Mr. Chetan Maini had the opportunity to be part of a team that raced a solar powered car across the United States. They also took the car on to drive across Australia. The idea of using a vehicle powered by green energy to cross an entire continent first led him to start thinking about bringing an electric car to India. In 1994, Reva Electric Car Company was founded. In May 2010, Mahindra Group acquired a majority stake in the company, as an exemplification of the Mahindra’s vision of the Future of Mobility – an automotive ecosystem that brings Clean, Convenient, Connected, Clever and Cost-effective (the 5 C’s) mobility solutions to customers across the world.
How has the market for ecofriendly cars grown in recent years?
Globally, nations and markets with strong government policy support have seen a significant uptake of electric vehicles. In India, the Ministry’s FAME Scheme is a great step to churn the growth for the EV industry, with focus on manufacturing, demand creation, technology and charging infrastructure.
What are the major challenges faced while manufacturing such a car?
The Electric Vehicle (EV) technology is new and it’s going through a learning curve. In the initial stages getting financial support for products like ours was a big challenge. Today the Government’s FAME (Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) incentive surely is an encouragement, but we still have a long way to go. Since we are the only EV manufacturer in India, some raw materials and components of our car e2o are imported. A major part of it is the battery that powers the car. This in turn makes the cost of the car high in a price sensitive market like India. However, we do have a lot more acceptance today than we had a few years back.
Do you think these cars have the potential to replace the modern day cars?
I think we are at the cusp of a huge shift in terms of how consumers look at personal mobility. There are consumers who believe that EVs are the right thing because of the economic and ecological advantage they offer. There is a lot happening around the world as far as electric vehicles are concerned and consumers are reading about it. With the announcement and implementation of the FAME scheme, we foresee substantial growth taking place in the Indian EV Industry soon.