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Mahindra Reva opens new car making unit

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Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, a company, today opened its new manufacturing facility here. The plant, set up at a cost of over Rs 100 crore and equi-pped to manufacture 30,000 electric cars per annum, is the first platinum rated automobile facility in India.

Platinum certification is the highest green rating being awarded by the Indian Green Building Council.

“The idea of this plant was conceived by (founder of Reva car company) and after taking over Reva, we have put in our expertise in setting up new car plants. We will showcase this plant as the most eco-friendly car plant in the country,” Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director, Mahindra Group, told reporters.

The company, the only electric car maker in the country, plans to launch its next-gen electric car, NXR, by Diwali this year, he said. “To begin with, we are aiming at selling 6,000 cars per annum in the domestic market. Until the eco-system for rapid charging is developed in the country, we will focus more on exports.”

Mahindra Reva at present sells only one model, REVAi. Since the car was launched in 2000, the company has sold over 4,000 REVAi models, a majority of which being exported to Europe. The company will launch another model, NXG, next year.

The Mahindra Group acquired a majority stake in Reva in May 2010.

The firm is looking at bringing down the price of electric vehicles as and when the government comes out with an incentive package for electric car markers, Mahindra added. “We hope that the government will emulate Scandinavian countries in bringing out a policy for electric vehicles.”

Mahindra said the company would provide some plug and play rapid charging stations to state governments and help build the eco-system to promote electric cars.

Until the eco-system is built up in the country, Mahindra Reva would focus more on exports.

Chetan Maini, chief (strategy and technology), Mahindra Reva, said the company was waiting for the government to announce a national policy on electric vehicles to encourage production of electric vehicles. However, there are states like Gujarat, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka that are giving fiscal concessions in terms of reducing road taxes and providing subsidies to a limited extent.

Competition will hot up in the domestic electric car segment in the future as other car makers, including General Motors India and Tata Motors, have drawn out plans to launch electric car models. GM has developed an electric version of its Beat and is likely to launch it in a year.

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