Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

Reva, an electric City Car made in India

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Tags: Electric Cars »»»» Electric City Car »»»» Mahindra Reva

Reva is a car company based in Bangalore India. They specialize in making small electric cars, and they are well known among the Bangalore residents I talked with during my recent trip there. By the specifications Reva's cars are well tuned to cities in India, that is if Bangalore is a typical example. I saw a few Reva cars on the streets of Bangalore, and I can attest to their tiny size.

Home page: (www.revaindia.com) Revia India

The car is said to be a four-person hatchback. Elsewhere on the site they specify "four person" as two adults and two children. From the pictures, and having seen some in person, it's clear the cabin area is little larger than the front seats. Any rear seats must be small, child size, and hopefully also fold down to become a storage area.

The range and speed (65 km/hr and 40-50 km range) are well suited to the speeds and range typical to Bangalore, and probably the other cities of India. I've spent three weeks on two separate trips to Bangalore, and everybody acknowledges the traffic there is terrible. Basically the city has been inundated with the growth resulting from the "outsourcing" work that has come to Bangalore, and the resulting influx of tech professionals. The roads tend to be narrow and clogged with two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, and large trucks and busses. Even with motorcycles and scooters being the most popular vehicle in Bangalore, the roads are still clogged.

Therefore a small car that doesn't have a fast highest speed is perfect for traffic such as I saw in Bangalore. In the typical U.S. city the common travel routes are on the highways at speeds in excess of 65 miles/hr (because we are a nation of law-breaking speeders), and the Reva doesn't have the speed to travel on American highways. But if ones commute or other travel can avoid the highways, as I do when I ride my electric scooter, then this car would be fine.

This is attested by the number of people owning GEM cars or other neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV). The name says it all, that such cars are meant for trips around the local area, but I suggest that's more to do with the typical speed on American roads than anything about the vehicle. In a city like Bangalore the typical speeds even on the main roads are very compatible with the 30-40 miles/hr maximum speed of an NEV. Therefore the typical NEV could serve to drive the whole urban area in a city like Bangalore, whereas in the typical American city it's hard to go long distance without finding yourself on a high speed road.

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