The Mahindra REVA plant is in Bommasandra, a suburb of Bangalore

The Mahindra REVA plant is in Bommasandra, a suburb of Bangalore

Mahindra REVA, the electric vehicle subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, has opened its new 'green' manufacturing facility in Bangalore and says that it will have its long-awaited NXR electric car on sale by the end of September, although no price has been revealed. Local media speculation suggests it will sell for the equivalent of USD10,000.

"We will be launching the car by next month-end and hopefully it will be on the roads by Diwali," Anand Mahindra, group chairman, told reporters at the opening ceremony.

Although he wouldn't reveal the price, Mahindra did say that the car would be "an important instrument for Mahindra's global business. We are looking at certain markets in Europe like the Scandinavian countries. These countries have already set a target for increasing the share of [electric] vehicles."

The new factory is described by the company as world class, energy efficient and green and the first automotive facility in India to be rated as 'platinum' - although die casting company Sundaram-Clayton received a similar accolade last year.

The Bangalore facility expects to reach full annual capacity of 30,000 units within three years. Initial production will be 6,000 units a year. But Mahindra said he wanted the government to take a stronger lead on EVs by reducing duty on imported parts and establishing a proper recharging infrastructure.

Mahindra said that the start of NXR production was part of the group's vision of the future of mobility. "We firmly believe that the automobile industry is at an inflection point that will re-shape the way we own and use mobility solutions. This change is being driven by rapidly changing customer needs and dramatic advancements in automotive technologies, including the growing influence of electronics and IT in automobile products and solutions," he said.

Technologies unveiled by the company included 'Quick2Charge', by which the car can be charged in 15 minutes to run 25km; 'Sun2Car', a solar charging system which the group claims will provide free and clean energy for the lifetime of the car and 'Car 2 Home' which makes it possible to use energy from the car to power a house.

The REVA NXR ('Next REVA') had its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show three years ago next month. Production was set to commence during 2010, Reva claimed at the time. Another prototype, the NXG ('Next Generation'), was also revealed at the show.

In May 2010, 55% of REVA was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra. The firm was immediately renamed Mahindra REVA and the new parent company set about examining its new subsidiary's investment plans. This may explain why the new factory has taken so long to be opened.