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Reva is highest selling electric car in the world

Archana Mohan  |  Ahmedabad 

The Bangalore-based Reva Electric Car has created a record: Over 700 of its cars are running on the streets of London,
The company, which last year became the highest selling on-road electric vehicle globally, is all set to touch the 1000 car mark in London following its upcoming consignments in the next 4-6 months.
Currently, the company has around 1800 cars on road, of which 1000 cars are in India while the others are in London and other parts of the UK.
Over 2,000 colour choices, customised options for individual buyers along with innovations such as climate control seats and animal prints have sent demand soaring by 20 per cent this year in the island nation.
Around 40-50 cars have also been taken up by the UK Post and by those dealing in vehicles for the physically challenged.
Low-cost range has evolved as another major benefit in the manufacturer's kitty. While Reva sells its standard EV model with DC motor for £7000 in the UK, its competitors such as Smart are priced much higher. Smart is priced at £20,000.
The electric car maker, which sells electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK under the name G-Wiz, has seen its sales soar in the recent times in Europe on account of subsidies and benefits offered to encourage EVs. In the UK, which has become the largest market for Reva after India, owners of EVs are now exempt from paying parking fees, congestion taxes, sales and road tax.
The French government has also introduced free parking for EVs, low road tax and 100 per cent depreciation for corporates. EVs are also being encouraged to be used as rental cars in public. Further, no taxes are imposed on electricity used for charging the EVs. The Italian city of Torino has decided to allow only EVs on Sundays.
"Even Asian countries have started taking up the encouragement of EVs. For instance, the Japanese government has announced a $2,600 subsidy for the end user for buying a REVA. Similar initiatives are also being taken up by China," said Chetan Kumaar Maini, deputy chairman, RECC.
Owing to increase in demand from domestic and export markets, the company has decided to ramp up its production from 6000 units per annum at its Bangalore plant to 35,000 units per annum in 18 months.
Funding for the expansion and other research and development projects undertaken by the company, which include a hydrogen fuel cell car, a regular four-seater and hardtop convertible among others, will be undertaken courtesy $20 million from Global Environment Fund (GEF) and Draper Fisher Jurveston (DFJ) in December 2006.
The company has taken up exports in a big way by starting trial-runs in various countries including Norway, Spain, Greece and Cyprus among others.
"We are using the medium of auto shows to showcase the car and its variants at potential markets and will be entering Norway, Spain and Greece in the next three-four months," added Maini.

First Published: Thu, March 08 2007. 00:00 IST