It was the launch of REVA’s next car - the NXR - at the REVAlok day in Bangalore.
People came in their little REVAs to be greeted by enthusiastic members of the REVA family. I hadn't felt so much warmth in a long time even at real family gatherings. Everyone smiled at each other, silently acknowledging and appreciating the choice made for a better environment.
There was no press, no hype, no glitz, no skimpily dressed models at the car launch.. the car would speak for itself. Well, the NXR actually 'talks' back to you through telematics that helps keep u in touch with your car.
All the speeches were short and came straight from the heart.. I liked the part about how Brigadier Harish followed Chetan Maini (founder and CTO of REVA) for 2 kilometeres in Koramangala to get feedback on the REVA without realizing that he was going to ask for feedback from the founder himself :)
The interaction session brought some interesting points.. one of them being the current owners being brand ambassadors for REVA as there have been many instances where we have been stopped and asked questions. The most touching interaction was when one of the owners said how he was able to use the REVA to move around and be independent inspite of having only one functional leg - a lot better alternative to a wheelchair car which costs more than 10 lakhs. He only wanted some slight modifications in the REVA which the board was eager to take up.
I was happy to personally thank Chetan Maini for "giving me a guilt free ride in the city."
I loved the NXR promos as much as the NXR itself. Stuff like 'Evolution is getting rid of things that you dont need - No sparks, no noise, no clutch, no gears, no tailpipe, no emissions, no petrol' or 'Never has a car lacked so much' to name a few.
The 4 seater NXR is born green and comes with a host of features like
- turning radius of 3.9 meters
- intelligent instrument display that provides info on range available, speed and driving efficiency
- top speed of 104 kmph - more than sufficient for cities
- range of 160 km which is covers 97% of all journeys one makes
- normal and fast charge options (fast charge available only in Lithium-Ion variants)
- 'Regen' braking that extends the range by putting energy back into the batteries everytime u slow down
- fully crash tested, highway safe car - M1 category
- optional solar roof charging provides a trickle charge
- REply - a suite of telematics solutions that alerts you with key info such as range available, time to full charge, provides reminders on service and insurance renewals, lets u remotely pre-heat, pre-cool, provides a report on your driving habits and tips on how to improve, etc.
- REVive - remote emergency charge if you run low or out of charge
- and last but not the least, forthe price of a couple of tanks of petrol, one can commute all year long
The price for the NXR hasn’t been fixed yet for India – according to me, a price between 5 to 6 lakhs rupees would be a competitive one.
The cars themselves will be produced in REVA's new low carbon assembly plant in Bangalore which is being built to IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) guidelines which includes rain water harvesting, natural light and ventilation, and employs solar energy for electricity and heating - hence the term 'Born Green'.
REVA, named after Chetan’s mother, also means ‘a new beginning’ in Sanskrit – and a new beginning it definitely is. If I heard it right, REVA is the first company producing commercial electric vehicles and has the largest deployed fleet of electric cars with customers in 24 countries. Bangalore has 1200 proud REVA owners and there are about 3000 cars worldwide.
If I had to sum up the evening's proceedings in one sentence, it would be something like this.. I felt how it was to have realized a dream - a dream of designing and producing responsible auto in a responsible way and still being so genuine.
Each guest was given an indoor plant as a token of thanks.
PS: Please pardon the low resolution pix.. I felt like kicking myself for forgetting my SLR.