UK May Slam Brakes on Reva Electric Car
Reva, the only electric car which is exported to the UK market from India,
may get a red signal from the UK government, owing to revised safety norms
proposed by the UK Department of Transport.
The company has sold 2,000 units of the electric car, branded as the G-Wiz, so far in the UK. It is one of the largest selling mass-produced electric cars in the world.
According to the EU norms, Reva fits into the category called quadricycle — a vehicle with four wheels whose unladen mass is not more than 400 kg (excluding batteries if it is an electric vehicle) and whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 15 kw.
The roads minister of the UK, Dr Stephen Ladyman, said, “The safety regulations that govern this type (quadricycle) of vehicle were designed at a time when it was thought they would cover four-wheeled motorcycles and some small, specialised commercial vehicles. Not city runabouts that resemble small cars.”
“But, due to increasing environmental concerns, new vehicles that qualify as quadricycles have come to the market and are becoming more popular for urban use. Therefore, it is right that we reconsider the regulations for this type of vehicle and make safety regulations more stringent.”
The UK Department of Transport is conducting the test on G-Wiz and the verdict is awaited.
In an email response, Chetan Kumaar Maini, deputy chairman and CTO, Reva Electric Car Company, said, “The UK government issued a statement that following the increase in popularity of quadricycles in the UK, it is seeking a review of legislation with the European Commission. The UK government has not asked for a ban of G-Wiz (Reva) or quadricycles. It is to test at least one other quadricycle shortly and then to issue a report.” The other car, referred to is the Mega City, French car-maker Aixam-Mega’s electric car.
G-Wiz is marketed in the UK by GoinGreen. Because it is exempt from paying road tax, the London congestion charge and central London parking fees, the electric car’s sales in the country really took off. Besides this, other benefits include a grant for purchase of the car by customers, the lowest rate of tax as company car and 100 per cent tax writedown in year one for businesses.
Reva produces about 12,000 units a year of its diminutive electric car in Bangalore with sales in countries such as Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Japan, Sri Lanka. The cars are also being test marketed in Australia, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
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