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Old 18th July 2009, 14:07   #1
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Default Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1

Let me begin from the beginning (alert, itís extremely verbose and no pics yet) Ė

Why Reva (question specific to buying in India):

There are many reasons, but none of them hold water other thanÖ To save the world!

Seriously, there is no single reason but a combination of all the following reasons.
  • We are a neutral family (me, wifey and a single kid, looking at the hardship of raising the riot, second one seems unlikely). So, Reva suits us.
  • Reva is not my first car and it can never be anybodyís first or only car. We have a Santro AT for outstation trips.
  • Two means of transport was needed at my household, my wife drives too.
  • Since my wife drives only an automatic car and it didnít make sense to keep one automatic and one manual and exclude her from driving one of the two cars. (Reva is automatic too, more on that later). Two Santro ATs didnít make sense to us (remember it was 2007 when we bought it and there were no other ATs in this range).
  • My commute is short and donít need to hop around the city like a salesman every day. My commute is about 8kms a day (40kms a week, 2000 kms/year). Current distance traveled is only around 4500kms.
  • We live in Bangalore.
  • And the deal-maker isÖ..we have a single long parking spot in our apartment basement which barely houses both Santro and Reva bumper to bumper (yes, I measured both the cars and the parking lot before buying it).
Price (and what Ďtangibleí do you get for that):

Buying a Reva does not make financial sense by a mile. All the analysis of lower running cost and lower maintenance cost (that Reva company touts) benefit the Reva company by customers paying that cash upfront and later for expensive batteries every few years.

No, it was not a late realization for me. I knew this before I bought it. If you look at my reasons above, savings is not the criteria.

We bought at Rs.4.07L car OTR. Has A/C, MP3/CD/Aux player with 2 decent speakers, remote locking. The options not taken are body-color bumpers and metallic paint. That would have cost another 17K. All Revas are automatic transmissions and it is not the typical 4/5 gear automatic. It is the continuous variable transmission (similar to NHC CVT, not sure if it is identical).

What you donít get in Reva, even if you had any spare money left after buying a Reva are, manual transmission and power steering.

Reva-i (2007 launch, I am customer number 23, got the keys personally from Chetan Maini) was promoted to be different from older Reva.

Reva-i had AC Induction motor (Alternating Current motors instead of DC motors). DC motors are supposed to leave black soot behind and have higher maintenance costs compared to AC motors. The new AC motors are compatible with the research-in-progress new Lithium batteries which will have higher distance per charge.

Delivery and A.S.S:

Nothing to complain about. There is only one showroom in Bangalore, at Lavelle Road.

TD was fun. 3 of us went for TD. My wife and I sat in the front. A friend of ours sat sideways in the back. Since the car had no room left for the salesman to squeeze in, he told us what to do with the toy and voila we had the TD car to ourselves in the middle of the city with no pressure of going back soon.

There was no price haggling as everything was fixed price. Salesman was very informative and helpful and really took pride in the car. If you hadnít seen Chetan Maini or his picture, you would believe you were talking to Chetan. I hadnít.

Since this was new launch, Reva called all of us who booked to Taj Westend and Chetan Maini (the real one!) personally handed over the keys. They also felicitated previous Reva owners, mostly doctors by profession, one of those had driven Reva for 94000 KMs, imagine that!!!!

A.S.S is awesome. They have a single ĎReva sewaí service center in Bangalore, in Koramangala.

Reva-sewa engineers came home couple of times with their computers to get feedback on how Reva-i is doing. While they gave free service, they also hooked up their computers to the diagnostics port to download the statistics which stores the driving and recharge pattern.

In the scheduled services, there is not much to do. Calibrate the batteries, top up distilled water and wiper fluids, etc. I am not tech savvy, so donít have more details on what else they do. A typical service costs around Rs 600.

They keep calling for free service camps, but once you know how much I have driven (more on that later), youíll realize why Iíve refused all of them.

There was one issue during the first 6 months but that was to do with rat chewing cables from the hood. Reva promptly replaced all the cables, tubes at no cost.

Body and build:

Cheap plastics all around the dashboard, so interiors are not inspiring at all. I wish they improve on that. Seat fabric is not that great but not bad either. I donít remember if there was any option. I do not use leather.

Exterior is all fiber. I donít mind it. Doors are reasonably heavy inspite of that (not as heavy as Santro). Car is also quite heavy (Reva claims car is heavier than M800 because of all the batteries packed below the driver and passenger seats). And CG is really low since the batteries are way down there. Good ground clearance. Never scraped the bottom. I have grown a liking to the frog-like shape.

There are two motors in the car. One drives the car, another one drives the air-con. Therefore, turning on/off air-con has no impact on the speed/performance of the car. It does have an impact on the discharging of the batteries, i.e. battery discharges 20% faster when the air-con is running.

There are two modes of forward driving (reverse is obvious so not elaborating on that). Economy and Boost. Economy gives good mileage, Boost gives good pickup and speed. The torque is really amazing, officially quoted at 52nm. I can say that in Boost mode, I typically leave behind all the cars when I start off from the signal. Unusual of a typical Reva driver, I am quite aggressive on the road, as much as the car allows me to be.


Hereís some number crunching.

A full charge takes overnight. I donít know how many hours, because I never woke up early enough to check when the charging stopped. But the Reva companyís claim is 8 hours. The charger is 2.2kW charger. Assuming average kW consumed is 8kWHr for a full charge. At around 4Rs/kWHr-unit in Bangalore, cost comes to 32Rs for 60 KMs, approx 50 Paise/KM. Thatís a steal Ė almost as cheap as a bike which gives 100KMs/Liter mileage.

There is a battery meter, just like fuel meter in petrol cars and there is a low battery indicator light.

When I bought it, I used to get around 50 KMs before the low batter indicator turned ON. I asked Reva that they claimed 80 KMs per charge and I am getting only 50KMs, they said, it will improve after 50 charge-discharge cycles. It did. Secondly, they said, the 80KMs claim was with A/C off in their factory test drive conditions. We use A/C some times in the car. So, expect it to be 10-15% lower. Also, 80KMs is for full discharge. I still have around 10-15% battery remaining when the low-battery indicator switches on.

Now I get around 60KMs per charge before the red-light turns ON.


The seating position is comfortable. Sitting in a Reva is like sitting on a chair. Your back and knee are almost at right-angles (90deg). Even though thereís more than plenty legroom, it is not for tall people. I am 5í7Ē and I hit my head to the roof few times. Since the seats are not bucket seats, you are thrown side-ways on sharp turns. Keep in mind that Reva is capable of taking very sharp turns (which I show-off all the time to curious on-lookers, making a u-turn on a 30ft road without putting in reverse).

When driver and passenger both are sitting, the shoulders are almost touching each others, so thereís not a whole lot of gap between the driver and passenger too.


Drive is bumpy. Suspension is very firm.

The car has high torque for itís size/weight, 52nm, therefore, pickup is excellent.

Peak speed in Economy is 60 (though Reva claims 70). If I go peak speed on downhill, perhaps I may touch 70, but I havenít tried. In Bangalore, the golden rule is, wherever thereís downhill, thereís inevitably a speed-breaker somewhere.

In Boost mode, I have touched 70 kmph many times. Reva claims max speed of 80 kmph in Boost mode, abysmal numbers compared to the test-drive and highway speeds Iíve read in this forum (somebody did 150kmph?).

The car grips the road well on turns. It is not too long, so no fish-tailing on high-speed turns, but given the non-bucket chair-like seats, you feel like being thrown off your seat. It takes some getting used to.


These need special mention because Reva has something called regenerative-braking, i.e. whenever you break or slow down, the momentum loss is used to charge the battery.

Typically, there are two braking scenarios Ė anticipated and sudden. This works very well for anticipated braking, eg, you are approaching a signal or a traffic jam. You take your feet off the accelerator and the braking starts right there. Tap the brake pedal slightly, the regenerative braking starts. Press the brake harder to stop completely or quickly.

The disadvantage of the above mechanism is that, when you need sudden braking, you need to press the brakes really really hard. It gives a feeling that the braking is not adequate. Perhaps it is not adequate.

The car is quite stable during sudden braking, doesnít swing sideways.


Thereís very little safety in the car, but not terribly bad either. The metal-frame chassis is quite sturdy to protect the human flesh inside. There is no crumple zone. Fiber body protects against small fender-benders. The spare wheel is in the front of the car, where a typical radiator is in the petrol cars. That gives some absorption in frontal accidents. Seatbelts are quite good Ė the 3-point retracting ones. There are 4 seatbelts, 2 in the front and 2 in the back for kids.

When my kid was small, i.e. until his feet did not come out of the child seat, I used to strap the child seat in the back-seat and he used to sit in that. But once his feet came outside of the child-seat, then we couldnít keep the child-seat in the back because he would start kicking my front seat. Now the child-seat is permanently placed in the back-seat of Santro and we have a booster seat in the back of Reva. Kiddo is strapped in the back using the regular seat-belt. Even though it is a 3 point seat belt in the back, but we convert it to 2 point belt while strapping him in.

There are no airbags and ABS.


Front seats are quite spacious when seats are put as back as possible. Thereís plenty of legroom, but no headroom for tall people or width room for laterally challenged people.

The backseats fold completely flat to make a large open space in the back to keep larger bags/cartons, etc.

Steering is not power-steering, so while standstill, be prepared to sweat it out. Lack of power-steering is not an issue while in motion.

The width of the car is small, as wide as an auto-rickshaw, so Reva can Ďboldly go where no car has gone before,í into all those patli-gali where autos and bikes enjoy their freedom from cars. The Bangalore rickshaws are not happy seeing me squeezing in their area.

The car being small makes it easy to park and also makes it easy to find parking space. In the worst case, I do perpendicular parking where other cars have done parallel parking. The length of Reva is not very different from the width of few wider SUVs. Many times, I have perpendicular-parked in bike-parking too, with no complaints from anybody.

Small turning radius makes it easy to parallel park into very tight spots in addition to all the other benefits of having a small turning radius. It is very useful inside office basement parking-lots which are unusually more cramped that residential basement parking-lots.

A/C works very well. Since A/C runs on a separate motor, whenever it is running the motor makes a loud sound (also obvious because the car by itself doesnít make any sound).

Car stereo is good. I had few issues with the player but got it repaired for free even though the warranty of the car-stereo had expired. Again, thanks to Reva-seva (thatís what they call their A.S.S team).


Do I have any regrets? No I donít. I knew what I was buying before I bought, and there are no surprises. It fit my requirements very nicely Ė 2 automatic cars in one parking spot.

Do I like it? Ofcourse, I like it. I have gotten used to the quirks of the car and the car has gotten used to my way of driving. My wife rarely drives the Reva as she takes the Santro. The child-seat is strapped in the back of Santro.

Am I happy driving it? Yes I am, thinking that I am not burning petrol while everybody else around is. I am happy when kids (and adults alike) give the extra attention to the car. I am happy to strike conversations with strangers about the car. The conversations invariably begins with 'yeshtu kodatte?' and ends with 'yeshtu kottri?' (translation below).

Stranger: what is the mileage? (kannada: yeshtu kodatte?)
Me: means? (I ask this question back for them to realize that itís not a petrol car and their question needs rephrasing)
He: how much does it run in one charge?
Me: 60 KMs
He: then you canít go out of the city
Me: no

He: how long does it take to charge?
Me: 8 hours Ė overnight
He: what if you run out of charge? (geez I didn't think of that while buying)
Me: look for nearest 15AMP electric point. (most of the times, I intentionally omit the battery meter and low battery indicator. some times I ask them back 'how many times have to run out of petrol completely in your car?')

He: how much did you pay for it? (kannada: yeshtu kottri?)

By this time you know the conversation is about to endÖ I tell them the price and without waiting for their expression I move on. Iíve got to save the world.
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Old 18th July 2009, 14:34   #2
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Thats a bloody awesone review Pachchu. One of the best on the forum, for a car that is not so popular yet. Great Going. Now only for a couple of dozens of pics

Already rating it as a 5star thread !!
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Old 18th July 2009, 14:48   #3
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Great detailed review Pachchu ! Was really waiting for this for quite some time, looks like you finally got down to it after some prodding from fellow Bhpians ! Now waiting for the pics to follow soon !
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Old 18th July 2009, 14:55   #4
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I agree. Very well written review.
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Old 18th July 2009, 16:03   #5
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The most important thing is that you are totally satisfied. As mentioned, the A.S.S being excellent gives you a lot of peace of mind.

Yea, pics certainly needed, to complete your excellent review.

Do you recharge the battery every night or do you let it run down? Does this affect the battery life?

I read somewhere that they are planning to install solar panels on top of the car; that would be a welcome modification. And this would further aid you in your "save the world" campaign.

The initial cost of the car certainly does put off a lot of people.
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Old 18th July 2009, 16:21   #6
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Honest review, I did my training at REVA and also worked unofficially for them for sometime, in marketing and sales only reason being I could take it for road shows.
The review brings back my memories, I am sure you try to crank the car every time you are in the driver seat. takes some time to get over it and realise you you are driving an EV.
The best aspect i like about the car is the noiseless cabin and the ease to park.
Mr. Bhaskar Roy was the GM- marketing then, did you meet him. He usually makes it a point to speak to every customer.
Congratulations on your purchase, Again, Nice review.
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Old 18th July 2009, 16:21   #7
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Great review ! Post some pics please.
Yesterday I saw one reva with like 13 inch alloys protruding laterally, red in colour. Looked really nice.
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Old 18th July 2009, 16:24   #8
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Excellent review, your perspective was put forward well
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Old 18th July 2009, 16:26   #9
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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Great review ! Post some pics please.
Yesterday I saw one reva with like 13 inch alloys protruding laterally, red in colour. Looked really nice.
There are lot of prototypes being tested in Bangalore. There was another black and yellow, 13 inch wheeels, sunroof and all. These cars were used ny the marketing department. I was lucky to get hold of one while I was there. I loved it. I saved quite a lot of money driving the REVA.

Post some pictures, and what color did you pick up?

Did you know the REVA is the only car in India that can offer you close to 2000 shades.
I still remember a person who wanted to have the car the same colour as the saree his wife donned. It was wonderful, PINK.

Last edited by beejay : 18th July 2009 at 16:31. Reason: DID YOU KNOW
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Old 18th July 2009, 16:52   #10
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One of the best ownership reviews and frankly even without pictures I can imagine how happy & satisfied you are with the car and how well it is meeting all your needs.

Wishing you many many happy 'Charge-Discharge' cycles on your Reva.

PS: I will think it is you if I see a reva driver pulling of stunts on bangalore roads,:-)
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Old 18th July 2009, 18:12   #11
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A good and complete review there! Thanks!

It does takes a lot of conviction to put ~4laks on a car which, you know, does not have the best of ROI, but then when you talk of saving the environment - hats off to you Pachchu!
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Old 18th July 2009, 20:22   #12
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yeah!! saving the environment!! hats off to you. I am doing my bit, only driven my ikon 2100kms in 6months.
I have seen many Reva's in delhi way back in 2002-03. They have their showroom at Greenpark area there.
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Old 18th July 2009, 23:30   #13
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Excellent Review.
Waiting for pics to make this review complete.
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Old 19th July 2009, 15:15   #14
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Thanks for all the generous comments.

I've learnt so much from this forum, the least I could do was share whatever little bhp I drive with team-bhp.

Pics attached.

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-dash.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-front-seat.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-front-left.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-rear-seat.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-rear-right.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-odo-speedo.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-parking.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-rear-seat-folded.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-hood.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-cockpit-controls.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-charging.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-distilled-water.jpg

Reva-i 2007 ownership report, picture added Page 1-indicators.jpg
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Old 19th July 2009, 19:17   #15
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Amazing review. Not much else to say. Loved it. Voted 5 stars
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