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Old 18th February 2009, 17:07   #16
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Thanks for the detailed ownership experience, Mike. There is limited information available on the Reva, thus it is always nice to know more about the car. From an owners perspective.

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Originally Posted by MikeBoxwell View Post
In addition, you're buying all your fuel for the car at the same time as you're buying the car - batteries are expensive and it's like buying all your fuel up-front when you buy your car.
Not sure if I agree with that. You do need to charge it. That is the fuel.

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GTO makes some very good points about the car. Battery technology is improving all the time, but I'm not so sure what is meant by 'disruptive'?
We've been running on internal combustion engines for way too long. In the same period of time, ground-breaking technologies have been developed & mass-produced in every area of human life (healthcare, information, lifestyle, transportation etc. etc.). We could blame the oil companies (and their muscle power) to an extent, but surely a viable alternative (to the internal combustion engine) is due in the near future.

I don't know if it is going to be some advanced battery technology (with 100x the current capacity) or solar power or hydrogen or fuel cells or whatever else....but I am confident of cars running on fuel other than petrol / diesel by 2025. Or earlier.
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Old 19th February 2009, 17:49   #17
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Not sure if I agree with that. You do need to charge it. That is the fuel.
There is no direct comparison between electricity and petrol. You can't hold electricity in liquid form and pour it into an electric car. So your 'fuel' is the combination of the electricity in the cable and the batteries.

From a cost perspective, you do need to take into account the cost of the batteries. Both from an initial purchase point of view and an ongoing running cost.

Charging the batteries cost very little. If you simply take into account the cost of charging the batteries and not the cost of the batteries themselves, you get a distorted view of the running costs.

When comparing the purchase cost of an electric car to a petrol car, you need to take into account the cost of purchasing a petrol car plus 2-3 years worth of fueling cost in order to make a useful comparison between the the cost of an electric car and a petrol one.

In terms of how long the batteries last, it depends on how the car is used. There are some owners of early cars who are still on their original batteries - seven years on - whilst other owners have had to replace their batteries every 2-3 years.
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Old 20th February 2009, 16:38   #18
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Originally Posted by MikeBoxwell View Post
You can't hold electricity in liquid form and pour it into an electric car. So your 'fuel' is the combination of the electricity in the cable and the batteries.
Agreed. But the batteries need a replenishment charge and thus, one can't really say that "it's like buying all your fuel up-front when you buy your car.". You still have to fill up / recharge, correct?

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When comparing the purchase cost of an electric car to a petrol car, you need to take into account the cost of purchasing a petrol car plus 2-3 years worth of fueling cost in order to make a useful comparison between the the cost of an electric car and a petrol one.
An electric car is cheaper to run, no two sides to that. However, we have to consider the cost of battery replacements and the fact that a similar-sized petrol car (Maruti Alto) costs 1.5 lakhs lesser. Plus, the petrol car (Alto) is capable of better performance, highway runs, extended range on a full tank, better resale & higher overall practicality.

But if I continue to think in that vein, I am off the real point. Comparing an electric car to a petrol, solely on practicality, isn't going anywhere. I give a massive pat on the back to Maini for investing / offering a future technology that is yet in its nascent stage. And being a solid contributor to the new age electric car movement. Maini has created a name for itself in history. I feel that the internal combustion engine is in its final stages and a breakthrough technology is going to "disrupt" the automotive industry. In 10 years? 15? 20? Its anybodys guess.

Again, current battery technology is the sole restrictor to the mass-practicality of electric cars. I expect some mega development sooner rather than later on this front.

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In terms of how long the batteries last, it depends on how the car is used. There are some owners of early cars who are still on their original batteries - seven years on - whilst other owners have had to replace their batteries every 2-3 years.
Most Indian Reva owners have reported thus. Earliest change = 2 years, average = 3 years and the maximum (that I have heard of & rarely) is 4 years.
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Old 20th February 2009, 19:02   #19
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Hey Mike.
Good, honest review there for teh G-wiz aka the reva.

I have a doubt regarding the regenerative braking. You say the first 30% of the braking is done by the electric motor. So how is the brake modulation achieved ? I mean how is the amount of braking force provided by the motor controlled ?
In my opinion it should be a constant as the motor acting as a generator would provide a fixed deceleration.
Are they using some sort of a clutch to couple the wheels to the engine under braking ? What exactly is going on ??

Anyone ?
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Old 20th February 2009, 21:39   #20
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Good review Mike,

There is nothing like an electric car for everyday use, especially seeing how much slower our roads are becoming. It takes me a whole 45 mins to 1.5 hrs to cover 10 kms distance and the stop and go traffic with no sense ends up consuming way too much fuel for a week. I end up spending some 55 ltrs(~Rs3000) of fuel a month on my WagonR(/Opel Agila) for just commute and may be few extra miles.

When car rentals become common here, renting a car for out of town use may seem good option. Though the bigger concern is the quality of batteries, seems to keep falling. Will probably look at it if the company is ready to rent out the batteries.

They have a much bigger plant now manufacturing 30k units an annum, thus the prices should come down in some time.
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Old 21st February 2009, 15:41   #21
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Originally Posted by MikeBoxwell View Post
I'll be visiting Bangalore at the end of this month, so I'll be able to see the place for myself and see how Reva are doing.

There are lots more pictures of my car on the Reva Car Club web site (also known as the G-Wiz Owners Club) which I run. For obvious reasons, I'm not allowed to post the web address here, but a quick google will unearth the site.
Mike, this car gets more acceptance in UK than in Bangalore where it is made !. The govt here doesn't really encourage buyers to go for electric cars.Congrats on that. Me and a team of friends have done some R&D on a reva. We have plonked in a small diesel engine which keeps charging up the batteries.A Hybrid Reva/G-Wiz if you will. for more information, PM me.
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Old 21st February 2009, 16:04   #22
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Me and a team of friends have done some R&D on a reva. We have plonked in a small diesel engine which keeps charging up the batteries.A Hybrid Reva/G-Wiz if you will. for more information, PM me.
Why don't you post it here so all of us can understand what you have done?
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Old 21st February 2009, 16:18   #23
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Good review Mike. I my self thought of buying a Gwiz for my local commute in Birmingham but the lack of charging points in the city centre was a big deterrent.
In fact I wrote to council as well asking them about their plan for installing charging points in the city centre, but there has been no response from them yet.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 13:18   #24
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Default Am considering a Reva - again

Thanks Mike for that wonderful report. I considered buying a Reva some years ago, but put it off. In the meanwhile I shifted into a flat ().

I have worked around the lack of recharge points at the ground level - I realised that my electricity meter is on the ground floor. I have to get an electrician to fix a plug point with an adequate length of wire to reach the parking slots. My runs within the city are rarely never more than 50 Km per day.

The convenience of a Reva is great - no engine to 'idle' in traffic, no vibration in slow moving traffic. Ability to squeeze through like an auto. Instant parking. The top end model has a facility to start the A/c. via remote (a god-send during summer in India).

I remember that the government of Andhra Pradesh was giving a subsidy for the Reva, the car was also exempt from sales-tax. I think the A.P. Govt. was also either giving a concession or fully exempting the car from road tax. All told, the car worked out to between 1.8 lakhs (bottom end) to 2.5 lakhs (fully loaded) in Hyderabad. I do have to check out the current prices.

Just to share my thoughts on the maintainance cost - If I have to spend Rs.50K for batteries every 2 or 3 years, it would still work out as maintainance (oil, filters etc.) of other cars works out to approximately Rs.20,000/- over the initial two years. Over three years this would probably go up to Rs. 35,000/-. The cost of fuel (petrol/Diesel vs. electricity) would more than offset this difference of Rs.20K to Rs. 35K. Over a longer period, the absence of exhaust system, fuel pumps, injectors and other moving parts should see the Reva become cheaper to run in the long run, of say 5 to 10 years.

Now I am torn between a Palio 1.6 (heart) and a Reva (head)!

Cheers,
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Old 23rd February 2009, 14:48   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no_limit View Post
Good review Mike. I my self thought of buying a Gwiz for my local commute in Birmingham but the lack of charging points in the city centre was a big deterrent.
In fact I wrote to council as well asking them about their plan for installing charging points in the city centre, but there has been no response from them yet.

Drop me a PM and let me know whereabouts in Birmingham you need charging points. There may be a couple of options without going near the local council.
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Old 27th February 2009, 10:56   #26
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Just thinking, what if a home generator (like a Honda) could be used to charge the Reva and extend its range on the go.
What is the smallest sized generator that we can get and what efficiency will it give? So one can take it for a really long trip.
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Old 27th February 2009, 14:02   #27
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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
...what if a home generator (like a Honda) could be used to charge the Reva and extend its range on the go.
...
See post #21 in this thread by 14000rpm.

@14000rpm - it would be great if you started a new thread on your project.

cya
R
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Old 27th February 2009, 14:13   #28
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would that not be like running your car on fuel??
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Old 3rd March 2009, 22:29   #29
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Hi there Mike,
That was a fantastic writeup.
We have owned a REVA for 14 months now and apart from a horrendous experience on the battery pack (Had to be replaced and since it was over 12 months, out of warranty.I now pay 5K INR every quarter for a leased pack) the REVA performs beutifully as a city car.
One more plus, the AC actually is quite good (yup, you actually need one in Bangalore sometimes)and decreases the range only by about 15%.
Build quality sucks though. Just today my wife complained that the front number plate fell off(reminds me of the old bajaj/vespa where the silencer used to fall off) and she had to get out and jam on the errant screw, causing a traffic jam.
But....like all REVA owners, we have grown to like this cute little contraption.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 22:34   #30
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Mike,
A quick quizz for you ----
Which British Motor journalist called the REVA "the worst car in the world"
Which car gets wrecked in a chase sequence in London, in a Hollywood adventure thriller
Which car has its steering mechanism based on a fork lift
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