Bangalore-based electric car maker, Reva Electric Car Company may become India's first auto company to make its vehicles in the US, by assembling its next generation NXR smart car in New York.
Reva has roped in a New York-based electric car maker Bannon Automotive, in a joint venture to assemble its three-door plug-in hatchback, banking on emerging demand for environment-friendly cars.
The proposed JV is expected to see an investment of over $38 million with $11.6 million funding coming from the local New York State as incentives for the eco-friendly project. It likely to set up America's first assembly plant for electric cars.
A senior Reva executive who didn't wish to be named confirmed the new proposed venture and said: “We are exploring all options and would be working in many international markets to export and manufacture our cars. Talks are on to license the technology that can open new revenue stream for the company.”
He declined to share more details on the proposed venture. Interestingly, Reva has not tied-up with General Motors, once the world's largest car maker. This is despite the fact that Reva is developing electric technology for General Motors India for its small car Chevrolet Spark Electra.
The new car will run on a Lithium-ion battery, with a top speed of 104 kmph and a range of 160 kms on a full charge. Reva has also developed Lithium Polymer battery and the fuel cell technology but they would be launched at a later stage. Reva had launched its two next generation cars NXR and NXG in September at the Frankfurt Auto Show, which will hit the international market from next year. Reva will send the fully built kits to the US market which are expected to be assembled by Bannon at a location which is yet to be decided.
Reva has scaled up its manufacturing capacity in India to 30,000 cars per year with an investment of Rs 30 crore. The company is banking on the global shift towards eco-friendly cars and is exploring entry into many markets including South East Asia and Europe.
Reva already has a presence in the UK market, where it has managed to sell over 1,000 cars in the past decade. The US market currently has only a couple of electric car plants, but the market is dominated by hybrid cars (petrol+electric) such as Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. Toyota has sold over a million unit of the segment leader Prius in the past decade.