Indian car manufacturer trying to make UK car (EV) purchase as easy and friendly as an iPhone

The India-based car manufacturer Mahindra has now opened up reservations for its e2o electric car in the UK market.

The 3-door, 4-seat hatchback possesses an advertised range of 79 miles per full charge, and was designed specifically for transportation in dense urban environments (the company is based out of India, of course). First deliveries in the UK market are slated to begin in May.

While the Mahindra e2o doesn’t have quite the same mass-market appeal as the Tesla Model 3 (and sales/reservation numbers will be notably fewer), it’s also considerably cheaper.

The model will feature a starting price of £12,995 in the UK market (after local incentives/rebates are applied). While that is considerably higher than the price for the model in the Indian market (~£6,000), it should be noted that the UK version is significantly upgraded as well — with a bigger battery pack, a fancier interior trim, and improved safety.

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There are two trim levels available, with the higher-spec TechX starting at £15,995. It includes touchscreen infotainment with a reversing camera, telematics, Revive remote emergency recharging, leather seats, alloy wheels and a rapid charging port.

The price range makes it more expensive than the Renault Twizy, which starts at £6895, but cheaper than cars like the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf, which cost £18,445 and £25,790 respectively. Mahindra will also offer a finance scheme for the e2o, including hire purchase, PCP and business leasing options, but these are yet to be determined as the firm is awaiting residual values confirmation.

The e2o has a top speed of 63 mph and achieves 0-25 mph in 4.9 sec, while 0-50 mph takes 18sec. The 13.9 kWh lithium-ion battery powers a 42 bhp electric motor with 67 lb ft of instantly available torque and takes nine hours to charge from empty. The e2o TechX also has a fast charge option, taking 1.5 hours.

As far as the company’s approach to sales and service, Mahindra is clearly taking a page out of Telsa’s playbook — do the sales process entirely digitally, rather than through dealerships. Test drives can reportedly be booked online for residents/guests in London, Bristol, Birmingham, and Milton Keynes.

The plan for vehicle maintenance will also seemingly follow Tesla’s lead — with mobile service vans set to cover the vast majority of servicing.

The Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra, commented: “People want it to be like other tech purchases. The whole buying process has mutated. We’re selling you something that is as friendly and easy to buy as an iPhone.”