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India’s first connected and intelligentsolar powered car, the E2O, from Mahindra Reva is ready to roll out of its Bangalore-based plant next month. The four-seater, two-door compact car spells a new future in private transportation: it disconnects car ownership permanently from fuel costs. For India, that has been drawing global criticism for its inability to challenge China’s manufacturing prowess, the E2O spells a landmark ‘Made in India’ moment. The vehicle has been completely designed in India, using 30 patents that Mahindra Reva has registered globally. Fast Company recently listed Mahindra Reva at Number 22 in its list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2013.

The price tag for the E2O has not been finalised, but Mahindra Reva will take a decision on the market price after the government announces its policies related to manufacturing and renewable energy.

The E2O is controlled by 10 computers and is connected to a central server, spelling the start of the connected and intelligent smart car era. While details of the technologies incorporated in the car are being kept under wraps until the launch date, Mint and The Wall Street Journal had the opportunity to drive the car and experience its advanced systems. According to Chetan Maini, founder and chief of Technology and Strategy, Mahindra Reva, “About 75% of the bill of materials in the E2O is for components never used in a car before. That’s one reason we didn’t need a hundred years of experience in automobile design to build the E2O. Past experience in developing and manufacturing a game shifting car like this is almost irrelevant."

The E2O has a range of 100 km on a single charge and has a maximum speed of 85kmph. It uses one third of the components of a regular car and is manufactured in a revolutionary new plant with only 28 manufacturing steps, redefining frugal engineering in the automobile industry. By comparison, most commercial cars are manufactured in around 150 steps. Some of the processes used for the E2O are those used for manufacturing F1 cars and by aerospace companies.

The E2O with automatic transmission is designed for city use. It was designed over a period of 5 years.

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