Indian multinational Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is to launch a new budget electric city car called e2o in the UK next month, promising to close the price gap between normal cars and EVs.
The Mahindra e2o has been optimised for city centre use: indeed, the firm is set to champion the benefits of zero-emissions cars in talking UK city air pollution following its April launch.
Likely to be priced at a similar budget level to the Renault Twizy EV, some are speculating whether Mahindra has a list price surprise in store: it won’t be as cheap as the £7,000 Renault Twizy but it’ll certainly cost many thousands less than the £18k Renault Zoe. How much less? We’ll find out next month when prices are revealed.
The proviso is the fact this isn’t a conventional car but, like the Twizy, a lightweight quadricycles. Safety standards for these cars are lower, they’re less refined and, hopefully not ominously, they’re the same regulations that brought an earlier EV pioneer to London – the much-derided G-Wiz.
Hopefully the e2o is a big step on…
Mahindra says buyers can expect fuel costs of £10 a month – even if they regularly cover the UK average annual miles of almost 8,000 miles a year: that’s more than 20 miles a day.
To be sold fully online, owners will use the mahindrauk.com website to choose a spec, book a test drive, pay a deposit and track the delivery status of their new car. There may even be a Mahindra e2o smartphone sales app.
Its sole UK base will be its HQ in Chiswick, West London, which will be open seven days a week; test drives will be based there.
Aftersales service and maintenance will be handled by a mobile service team.
Pravin Shah, president & chief executive at M&M Ltd, said: “In the face of issues such as environmental degradation, pollution-related concerns, climate change and energy security, all of which plague communities globally, the e2o is a smart choice for the UK’s urban multi-car households.
Mahindra EV division leader Arvind Mathew added: “The Mahindra e2o is a savvy electric car that redefines sustainable urban driving. We designed the e2o, as well as our complete sales and service model, to be more convenient and flexible in keeping with the way our UK customers live and work.”
And while Mahindra may not be the biggest name in UK motoring, it’ll be familiar to motorsport fans: the Mahindra Racing team is currently running in the FIA Formula E championship.
You can bet this motorsport link won’t be lost on potential Mahindra e2o customers when the launch gets underway next month…