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Reva NXR - Range Against the Machine

Bangalore-based Reva Electric Car Company boasts that they are the most successful electric vehicle maker in the world, with more EV's on the road than any other manufacturer.

reva nxr
images from Reva
by Ross Bonander
    Type: Dedicated electric vehicle
  • Class: 4-seat hatchback
  • Manufacturer: Reva
  • Top Speed: 65 mph (104 km/h)
  • Vehicle range: 100 miles (160 km)
  • Fuel(s): Electric
  • Battery pack: Lithium ion phosphate
  • Time to full battery recharge: Eight hours (1.5 with fast charge)
  • Price: $6,100 - $8,000
  • Availability: Late 2010

The manufacturer says

"In a squeeze, a phone call puts more juice in your batteries."

Overview

Unveiled at the 63rd Frankfurt International Motor Show on 16 September 2009, the Reva NXR is a 3-door, 4-seat electric hatchback that Reva plans to put into production in 2010. The company is offering two models: the NXR City with a lead-acid battery pack and a shorter range, and the NXR Intercity (the specs of which are provided above). Reva is currently looking for a factory location in the US to build the NXR.

Bangalore-based Reva Electric Car Company boasts that they are the most successful electric vehicle maker in the world, with more EV's on the road than any other manufacturer. This is unproven, and likely very hard to prove. What's certain is that they do sell a reasonable amount of EVs and that they have never sold an attractive one.

reva nxr

What we like

The Eco-Check. This feature is one of many that Reva has included in the sales pitch of their latest model. With Eco-Check, you get a monthly report emailed to you detailing your driving habits, including "tips on how you can improve your efficiency." There's a touch of Big Brother going on here, but what do I care? I'm not buying this squatty little nightmare. With arrogant American drivers there's the chance these emails won't even be read, or if they are, they'll just piss them off.

So this electric vehicle feature has a slim chance of doing something EVs can't do: backfire.

REVive Telematics Technology. Here's Reva's answer to a term that's gaining in popularity and credibility even though few can possibly claim to have suffered from it in real life: Range anxiety, the feeling that your EV will run out of electricity and leave you stranded. My feeling is that there are more outlets in the world than there are gas stations, we just haven't looked hard enough. At any rate, according to Reva, "If you ever were to run low or out of charge, simply call or text our call center and the advanced telematics feature will remotely activate a reserve, that'll let you continue on your way."

How about just including a switch? Otherwise the buyer is forever beholden to Reva for this feature.

What we don’t

The hatchback. Hatchbacks are generally hideous. The NXR is no exception.

The design. Sure it's a little more uppity than previous models, but that's what we expect when a car maker is trying to improve upon a theme. And don't try to tell me four adults can fit comfortably in that car. Sure they can fit, but India is home to a billion people, and they all fit. Do you suppose they're all comfortable too?

Conclusions

Reva came to Frankfurt with two cars, the NXR and the "sporty" NXG, a two-seat EV with a targa top that was designed by "Dilip Chhabria of the internationally renowned automotive design company DC Design", a point Reva can't seem to stop making.

Reva is getting closer to pinpointing a location in the US to start building the NXR, with a New York State locale allegedly leading the pack. If that price point stays where it is, there is some hope for this thing; in fact it could do very well, especially against other green cars that come with more bells, whistles, and a bigger price tag.

Dive Deeper

DC Design

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