Innovation – Type 5 – Product performance [Case: Reva electric car]

In part four of ‘ten part’ innovation series, let us take a look at Reva Electric car for innovating in product design.

The idea of clean/green technology has taken main stage with main focus on having options other than petrol or diesel Reva is one of the early players in this space by inventing a city car, which is 100% battery operated. In bigger cities (like Bangalore) traffic during peak hours is a huge concern for working population, who want to move swiftly across the city. The main innovative aspect is not only for alternative fuel option, but some of the design considerations that Reva has incorporated. The key value of Reva is due to the way it is designed where it has created innovation.

To start with the vehicle is designed with maximum of 80 kilometers capacity, when it is fully charged. This basically differentiates the vehicle from other four wheelers by clearly targeting urban customer who wants to move within the city without much hassle. It has additional key features like ‘maximum 2% discharge’ concept, by which it will not run out of battery in case the customer is caught up in a long traffic jam. It also has state of charge (SOC) gauge on the instrument cluster in the car that is colour coded to give information on the charge left in your car. If you enter the red mode on the SOC gauge the car will warn you with a chime and also enter a mode where the power used for running the car is reduced (speed decreases and ac switches off) so that you can go home or to the nearest charging point comfortably. This vehicle is ideal for a family, who is looking for a second car option for moving in short distance.

Taking a strategic positioning is related with the trade-off a product or solution has voluntarily adapted. By having features mentioned above, Reva has strongly positioned, thanks to its design. With the global push towards a ‘greener’ world, a product like Reva has a strong potential to grow in the urban car segment in a big way. However the higher price range (about 4 lakh) is one of the barriers for customers to opt for this car, even though there is a significant long term can be achieved in terms of reduced fuel expense.

In spite of above mentioned advantages, commercial deployment and usage of Reva car is not of that great. Even though about 5000 cars are sold domestically, it is relatively very less compared with traditional cars. What should be done to promote this and making it better?

Related links:

[Introduction to ten types of Innovation]
[Innovation – Type 1 – RangDe]
[Innovation – Type 2 – RedBus]
[Innovation – Type 3 – Narayana Hrudhayalaya]
[Innovation – Type 4 – Mumbai Dabbawalas]

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