Reva, the Indian electric car company that had one of the best-selling electric vehicles in the world last year, is holding a “gas-to-electric-car” exchange in Bangalore this weekend. The idea is to bring in your gas car and maybe, just maybe, come out with a brand-new REVAi.
There are very few details as to how the exchanges are being valued, only that used car dealer Mahindra First Choice will be making the evaluations and the State Bank of India will help customers with “finance matters.” So getting a new REVAi might need some cash in addition to your gas car.
It’s a fun idea, though. Reva, which plans to launch one new vehicle every calendar year, and ramp up its annual production from 6,000 to around 30,000 vehicles over 2008, only put 2,500 vehicles on the road last year. But it’s got a first-mover advantage, a low price tag — $9,000 for a range up to 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) per battery charge — and a keen sense of targeting emerging markets for a possible early success.
Reva may be new to many, but it got its start in 1994 as a joint venture between the Maini Group India and California-based AEV LLC. After an extensive R&D period, its first commercial vehicle went to market in India in 2001. Draper Fisher Jurveston then led a $20 million round of financing for the company in 2006.