Gujarat has yet another 'cheap car' to offer to the world. This time, in the Electric-car segment. It comes from 'Ajanta Group' - well established in the electric 2-Wheeler market under the brand name 'OREVA'.
When Ratan Tata cruised into Gujarat, Nano was the globally, the cheapest car; now, a few days later, this Gujarati company has announced the impending launch of a small car that will match Nano's price(How much more can the Nano confront?? !!).
The 'Oreva e-car' will be priced between Rs 85,000 - Rs 1 lakh making it the cheapest small car in India. The non-AC version is likely to be priced at Rs 85,000 and the AC variant will be priced over Rs 1 lakh. That's as cheap as it can get!! So, at this point you are probably thinking;this is a better deal than the Nano, its cheap and its electric, why should anyone pay more for the Nano?'. Well, there are few things you must consider.
Firstly, The Nano is a 'CAR' in every sense of the word. It satisfies all the emission and safety norms, just like any average hatchback- Alto, Swift, Indica. In the case of Oreva, being an electric means it is free from all legislations and safety norms(Its a case of 'Safety- what's that'?). No amount of research has gone into making it safe (Research makes cars expensive). Secondly, the cost and quality of materials. The Nano uses state of the art technology and materials from companies like Caparo and Bosch- pioneers in the auto sector. In essence, the Nano is a 'Quality product' for a cheap price. The Oreva is however, a Two-wheeler in Car clothes!(motorcycle with an upscale price) It wouldn't be wrong to call the Nano a Benz when compared to an Oreva!
The Oreva is likely to be launched in Jan - Feb 2009, neck-to-neck with the Tata Nano launch and is likely to have an NiMH or lithium battery, rather than lead-acid(claimed range of 200-250kms-for every charge) . The other electric car in India, the Bangalore-based Reva was launched in India in 2001. The car is priced at Rs 400,000, four times the projected cost of the Oreva electric car (yet another eye-wash)
IAB Comment- The price might be tempting, we feel, it cannot be classified as a car. If a car is out there it should be safe; whatever be the cost. The Indian public deserve more than just an oversized plastic electric motorcycle which looks like a car!