Photography: Afsar Baig
3 phase AC induction
motors (P2 long core)
Direct drive, 2
3590 x 1575 x 1585
Strut type independent suspension with coaxial spring
Rear: Twin Pivot trailing arm with coaxial spring
Front: Disc &
9 hours (90mins quick charging)
Rs.8.46 lakh (ex showroom Delhi)
Zero to 100kmph in 5 seconds? Nah! Styled
like a Ferrari? Nah! 4X4 on the fly? Nah! Can be tanked up in 5 minutes? Nah!
Can save you, your children, your grandchildren and the entire posterity from
the ugly and dangerous menace of pollution? Yes, yes, yes!
Ever since the Mahindras bought over Chetan
Maini’s Reva Electric and promoted a redesigned Mahindra e20 electric car in
the Indian market, it received a lukewarm response in the country. While the
government sermonised on cleaning the environment, they really did nothing
concrete to encourage electric vehicle manufacturers. As for ordinary folks
like you and me, nobody gave a serious look at the electric vehicle. It neither
looked like the Model S or the Model X from the Tesla factory and either did it
drive furiously like the American car. The e20 was a simple little electric car
with just two small doors and cramped seating for four people. To hell with conscience,
to hell with pollution and to hell with environment. “One for the Road” was never an e20, rather
it continued to be a Patiala peg that led you to the gates of hell.
The e20 was built with a purpose and now
the newly launched e20 Plus is the very same purpose, though a lot more well
defined by the Mahindras. I got to drive the car in a well spread out resort
tucked away in one corner of Bengaluru. We were not allowed to take it on the
normal roads because the car had not yet been launched. We had to test it out
on the narrow roads of the resort, making sure that holiday makers were not
troubled in any way.
But why should they be troubled? This car
literally makes no noise, emits zero pollution, takes up only a small amount of
space and merrily moves around without a fuss. Unlike its predecessor, the e20 Plus is finally what we can call a car.
It’s got four doors and one hatch. Everything about the new e20Plus is fresh as
a daisy. The looks have been vastly improved by a new smart grille, stylish integrated
rear spoiler, spacious interiors, chrome accents, alloy wheels and a lot more
changes on the technology front. The car
now comes in four variants: P2, P4, P6 and P8. While the P2 is the 48V Fleet
model, the P4 is the 48V Base, the P6 is the 48V Top model and the P8 is the
72V Top model. We got our hands on the P8. Now let me narrate my honest drive experience.
We all have grown up experiencing our share
of yelling and noise. Whether it was yelling we received from our teachers, our
parents, our spouses, or yelling at our children or the noise from the pressure
cooker in the kitchen or the high pitched sound from the vacuum cleaner or the
fine grunt from the internal combustion engine...driving a silent vehicle is
like going back to the era of silent movies. The moment I shifted the automatic
gear to the Drive mode, off went this silent machine like a boat on sails. I
was pleasantly surprised by the instant torque the direct drive machine
generated. The 3 phase AC induction motors produce a whopping torque of
91Nm@2500 rpm. There is also decent peak power at 30Kw (40hp)@3500rpm. Because
of regenerative braking, a bit of charging happens each time you decelerate.
The interiors are indeed spacious in this
small car. The car’s overall dimensions have undergone a minor change. The car
now has a length of 3590mm, a width of 1575 mm and a height of 1585mm with a
ground clearance of 170mm. There is a boot space of 135 litres which can
accommodate a good amount of your personal luggage. The rear seats can be
folded too. The leg room for occupants
both in front and rear is more than adequate and so is the head room for tall
Since the car does not have an engine and
runs on lithium ion batteries, the space under the bonnet is used to store the
spare tyre and tools for the car. The good thing is that the car can be driven
for around 140km on a single charge and is maintenance free up to five years.
The company is offering three years / 60,000km warranty on the e20 Plus. While
the car can be fully charged in 9 hours, there is a provision to quickly charge
it in 90 minutes (the car will be charged up to 95pc). Finding a charging point
could be the real issue and not the charging time!
The e20 Plus now comes with a new Blaupunkt
android infotainment system. For those savvy with mobile phones and technology,
one can explore connectivity through smartphone app. Remote diagnostics too can
be attempted through telematics. While driving the vehicle was as simple as blowing
in the wind, the car can be improved on few fronts. A chunkier steering wheel
would have given a good feel to the driving experience. Also, while the
air-conditioner performed brilliantly, what needs to be fine tuned are the
knobs on the dash. The dash too in the e20 Plus could have been more tastefully
So did I miss the IC engine? Yes, because
that’s what gets driving all charged up. But then since electric ally driven
vehicles are getting better by the day, and speeds too are seeing a lot of
improvement, I personally feel the new e20 or the e20Plus is a must buy for a
family. It’s time we said no to the Patiala peg and redefine the term “One for
the road” by having an e20 Plus in your personal garage.
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