So while everybody in Delhi is trying to figure out their own hack for the odd-even rule, we also decided to come up with one. We thought, “If the rule is actually coming into force because of rising pollution levels, it shouldn’t really apply to a car that doesn’t pollute at all, right?” And this is the first thing that came to our mind:
Meet the Mahindra e2o.
There were a lot of crazy questions inside our head. So...
Keeping our fingers crossed, we asked the folks at Mahindra to lend us the car for a couple of days and...
They said YES.
Just like that, we had the Mahindra e2o for an entire weekend. And while driving it around in the streets of Delhi, we decided to perform a couple of random and not-so-random tests on it. Here are the results:
1. The How-Much-Can-I-Fit-In-It Test
Well, on paper, the e2o is (only) lengthier than the Nano, wider than the WagonR and taller than the i10. But that said, unlike its predecessor, the all-electric Mahindra e2o packs quite a punch in the space management department.
Well, the car drives like a normal car but definitely doesn’t feel like one. Why? That’s simply because there’s is no freakin’ engine inside it. Which means, and yes you can quote us on this, the car makes ABSOLUTELY NO SOUND whatsoever. No noise. No vibrations. Nothing at all. And with a cockpit like this, it feels more like one’s driving a silent spaceship and not a car.
So, it starts off with the push of a button.
And then you are greeted by a futuristic dashboard that tells you everything you need to know, including the all-important battery percentage. Seeing it dip while driving the car was a little worrying at first but after a couple of hours, we got used to it.
And one thing is for sure, the car drives like a dream. Ironically, even in bumper to bumper traffic. All thanks to a buttery smooth power steering and clutch-free drive. The latter will seriously give your clutch leg a much needed day off from chockablock traffic jams.
The car’s rear-view camera along with its small turning radius of 3.9m and its unique ‘Hill Hold’ feature helped us squeeze into some parking space almost anywhere, even on inclines.
At this point, let me introduce you to my favourite feature on this car: the B or BOOST mode.
As soon as you hit the open road, just flick the lever back into B and the car zip through 0-60 km/hr in about 11 seconds. And yes, we were comfortably able to gun it and reach its modest top speed of 80 km/hr. However, we couldn’t remain throttle happy for long because of Delhi's crazy jams.
In essence, the car is just perfect for city roads but if highways are a part of your daily commute, it might just leave you a little underwhelmed.
4. The How-Far-Can-It-Go Test
So we started off at 88% with the car showing us that we could cover an estimated 88 kms.
After driving the car for about 3 to 4 hours continuously (with the blower on), this is what the car’s dashboard showed when we parked it:
And in case you're thinking whether the car is really meant for loooong road trips or not, then you should definitely check out Mahindra's #GoodnessDrive campaign in which they are taking the e2o all the way from Kashmir to Kanyakumari!
5. The Does-It-Lose-Charge-Like-A-Battery-Hungry-Smartphone-On-Standby Test
Being an electric car, the e2o discharges during standby. Just like any other smartphone or battery operated device out there. That said, the car really didn’t disappoint us with its standby time as it lost only a mere 4% in the 8 hours it was idle overnight.
The car’s advanced Regenerative Braking system also helps in saving quite a bit of power as it recharges the battery every time the driver brakes. Although, it does make a slight robotic sound when you press it. But we didn’t really mind it as long as it was pumping some juice back into the car.
6. The How-Much-Time-Does-It-Take-To-Charge Test
So, the car easily charges with a 15-ampere plug point which is used to supply power to most ACs and refrigerators. However, the catch here is that the earthing wire should be connected to the plug point.
It's worth mentioning here that the Mahindra e2o's app was pretty awesome at keeping us updated while the car was charging. Also, the fact that the app allows you to check the car's current temperature and switch on the AC remotely is pretty dope!
7. The Will-It-Burn-A-Hole-In-My-Pocket Test
Well, at an on-road price of Rs. 5.95-6.25 lakhs (Delhi), the Mahindra e2o is certainly not a budget car. It's close to the premium hatchback territory, especially in the non-subsidy cities.
However, the higher cost simply gets negated to some degree because of the extremely low running costs as there is absolutely no fuel consumption. Which means that the Mahindra e2o might just burn a small hole in your pocket right now, but in the long run, keeping in mind its killer features, it will turn out to be a "bang for the buck" ride.