Mahindra Reva Joins Nissan in Charge to Fill the Streets of Bhutan With EVs

MAR 15 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 6

Mahindra Reva e2o to be Sold in Bhutan

Mahindra Reva e2o to be Sold in Bhutan

All the talk regarding Bhutan seems to focus on Nissan.  Yes, the Nissan LEAF will be available in Bhutan, but there’s a player from India who’s sure to make a bigger splash in Bhutan.

Ghosn Shakes Hands With Bhutan's Prime Minister

Ghosn Shakes Hands With Bhutan’s Prime Minister

Enter Mahindra-Reva.

As we discussed before, the LEAF will be far too expensive for the typical Bhutanese buyers, so the LEAF’s impact there will be limited.  However, Mahindra-Reva has a BEV called the e2o that’s significantly more affordable.

Mahindra recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Government of Bhutan for a strategic partnership to promote the usage of electric vehicles

Concurrent with the signing, Mahindra announced the launch of its e20 in Thimphu, the capital city of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

As Business Standard reports:

“The Mahindra e2o will be available in three variants and priced at 6.99 Ngultrum for the base variant, 7.99 Ngultrum for the premium variant and 8.39 Ngultrum for the premium variant with Quick2Charge.”

Business Standard has the figures all wrong though.  It should read as follows:

“…priced at 699,000 Ngultrum for the base variant, 799,000 Ngultrum for the premium variant and 839,000 Ngultrum for the premium variant with Quick2Charge.”

With the correct figures now in hand, we see that the e20 will be priced between $11,278 USD and $13,537 USD.

That’s cheap, but is it cheap enough for the citizens of Bhutan to afford?  Well, since the LEAF’s $28,800 base MSRP is roughly 12 times the per capita income in Bhutan, then the e2o is likely still too expensive for the average buyer, but at least it’s within reach of some.

Source: Business Standard

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6 Comments on "Mahindra Reva Joins Nissan in Charge to Fill the Streets of Bhutan With EVs"

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Perhaps its time to be realistic about Nissan. While Mahindra signed an MOU forming a strategic partnership with Bhutan to promote their e2o EV, Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn had no meaningful response for Nissan with the more than 3 year old LEAF product. The pace of change in the EV motor vehicle segment demands more from those manufacturers who want to succeed. Nissan has largely stood still with the LEAF. Demand for new LEAF styling, longer driving range, and lower price gets no response. It has even been hard to get more product volume. I am not sure Carlos got more from his trip to Bhutan than a paid vacation. Meanwhile Nissan’s stock price continues on a downward trend for 10 months and closes near its 52 week low. Its not because “All the talk regarding Bhutan seems to focus on Nissan.” It is because news like this in Bhutan is too typical of what Nissan has been doing globally. It is simply not enough.

No thanks. I don’t want rushed out new model every 2 years, that then need dozens of recalls, because the technology wasn’t properly tested.

That’s a pretty sharp criticism of Nissan, John. Compared to who? Who is doing a better job with global deployment of EVs?

Nissan has an enormous capital investment in the Leaf. They won’t get the cost down by making large scale changes so soon in the production run as you’re suggesting.

Aside from battery chemistry changes to improve hot weather operation, which they’ve already announced, I’d be very surprised to see much change with the Leaf before 2015.

Nissan is the manufacturer best positioned to sell cars into emerging markets without causing the kind of environmental disaster we now see in major Chinese cities. As more governments, like Bhutan, see the opportunity to modernize without living in a brown haze, Ghosn’s foresight will be vindicated.

I know I have stated before that I believe the LEAF is both a good car and a best selling EV. In my comments above, I am not focusing on the glass half full, but rather on what I see as the empty half. While I want to be a cheerleader for EVs including the LEAF, Nissan makes that difficult. When I see a dozen 2014 model LEAFs at the local dealer, but the NISSANUSA website still shows the options and pricing for the 2013 model until February 21, 2014, how am I to see this kind of deployment? To me it is frustrating, because I think Nissan could be selling a lot more. If you are right, and there is not much change before 2015, I think you are going to see BMW, Ford, and TESLA overtake Nissan and set the direction for the future of EVs. With its early introduction, Nissan could have taken an overwhelming lead. I think it is like the format of video tape, where BETA may have been a better format, but VHS took the lead. Is Nissan working to make their air cooled battery with Chademo fast charging EV the VHS, or are… Read more »
Those are fair criticisms. CHAdeMO is not my personal favorite fast charge technology, but Nissan and Mitsubishi were in production long before the SAE Combo was unveiled in October 2011. By the time the first Combo charge station was installed in June 2013, there were thousands of CHAdeMO stations in service. I would prefer a single standard but I also understand why Nissan and Mitsubishi did want to wait around while the rest of the world made up their mind. Tesla apparently likewise didn’t want to wait, or compromise. It seems they’ve made the right decision. Although Tesla may well duke it out with BMW, Nissan occupies a market niche well downmarket of either. Ford is giving Chevy half hearted competition and ignoring the market served by Nissan completely. The Ford Focus (full disclosure; my daily driver) is a great little car, but being willfully starved by Ford. The sales numbers and abject lack of marketing tell that story all too clearly. Nissan may not be executing flawlessly, but I believe they are doing the best job south of Tesla, and it will be at least five years before there’s even overlap in their market segments, let alone the opportunity… Read more »

You seem to be making my point for me. Why should it be the network effect that gets the word out about the economy of the LEAF? Isn’t that Nissan’s job to market the product, create an overwhelming demand, and fill their unused capacity? The only take away an ICE driver will get from this Bhutan story is that the LEAF is overpriced. Carlos Ghosn said so himself (in the prior Eric Loveday article). Contrast this with TESLA, which is building 10000 reservations for a Model X it won’t have before the end of the year. So who is positioned to win?