Launched at a price of NPR2.25m (INR13.72 lacs), e2o will be exclusively marketed by Agni Energy in the region known for its scenic beauty and mountains. The company has also delivered the first electric car to a customer in Nepal, with three more vehicles booked during the first week.
MREV is confident that the hatchback will click with buyers in Nepal, in part due to its environmental value. Chetan Maini, CEO of MREV, in an interview with The Kathmandu Post, said the initial response has been quite positive though the senior executive adds that it will take some time for wider market penetration, “We are here for a big picture in long terms (sic) and I think we will need some time to set the concept. But we see, in next four-five years, electric vehicles will have a large part. For us, it is not about just coming overnight but trying to see how we can build the brand, consumers and work with the government. We want to build an ecosystem to create a sustainable mobility solution with Kathmandu valley and beyond that.” He said.
MREV assumes that in a few years, e2o can become a preferred model choice for buyers looking for a vehicle for intra-city short distance trips. The model can also attract the tech-savvy buyer lot, with several innovative features including an in-built GPS navigation system, electrically operated wing mirrors, keyless entry and start/stop button, projector head lamps, LED tail lamps, etc. A unique feature in e20, the Sun to Car system, is also due to be launched in the Nepalese market over the next few months, where will enable the vehicle to be charged using energy from solar panels.
Clearly, MREV is all gung-ho about e2o launch in Nepal – an auto market which lacks indigenous manufacturing and thrives on imports. The import duty on traditional gasoline cars is one of the highest in Nepal, at almost 240%, though electric car import will attract a reduced import duty by half; these vehicles are also exempt from paying the annual road tax. All these factors may help push e2o even though the vehicle is priced almost 20% higher than Hyundai Santro, one of the most popular hatchbacks in Nepal, priced at NPR1.85m. Other limiting factors with respect to EV sales such as EV charging network and short range would also come into play, much alike the domestic market where e2o is still struggling to carve a niche, despite generating a huge amount of interest and positive reviews.