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General Motors India and Reva to Develop an EV

An electric version of the Chevrolet Spark is well underway.

by on Sep.25, 2009

Mr. P. Balendran, Mr. Karl Slym & Mr. Ankush Arora in New Delhi

A Spark EV will developed, built and sold in India next year, and then exported to where?

General Motors India and Reva Electric Car Company will jointly develop and produce an electric version of the diminutive Chevrolet Spark for the Indian market.

The agreement was announced yesterday by Karl Slym, president and managing director, General Motors India and Chetan Maini, deputy chairman and chief technology officer, Reva.

GM will supply the manufacturing and the Spark platform, Reva the electronics, when  production begins sometime late next year.

Reva says it is selling, or test marketing, Evs in Europe and Asia, as well as Latin and Central America. Reva has the largest fleet of electric cars on the market with more than 3,000 EVs on the road and more than 70 million kilometers of user experience.

“GM’s ability to develop platforms and REVA’s capability in developing electric drive-trains and control systems will result in, the consumer having a wider choice of EVs. We are going to be working closely with the Central and State Governments in India to develop infrastructure for electric vehicle charging and providing specific financial benefits to consumers, who make the choice to adopt an environment-friendly mode of personal transport,” said Karl Slym, President and Managing Director, GM India

GM is pursuing several energy alternatives and advanced technology options to meet what it  sees as the varied needs of customers around the world. GM believes that electrically driven vehicles, based on battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology, offer the best long-term solution for providing sustainable personal transportation. However, long term appears to be a long way off. Moreover, interim steps such as the +$40,000 Chevrolet Volt due late next year  in  the U.S. will require massive subsidies to make them commercially viable.

As anyone who has ever visited India knows, environmental awareness, a luxury for wealthy countries, is virtually non-existent among the vast majority of India’s impoverished population.