GM India will soon showcase the electric variant of their Beat hatchback, sometime this month. This comes exactly a year following the company dissolved their partnership with Reva to develop small electric cars. The new Beat electric variant is built in-house via support from their worldwide technical teams.
According to sources, the electric variant will have a 130km range with batteries that require an 8 hour charge. The electric engine could deliver around 45kW or 60hp that would make it as powerful as the various compact models available in market.
A company official said that they plan to showcase their technology as well as arrange test drives for some people. These vehicles are to be assembled from parts globally sourced and designed. They are not going to introduce it immediately as they don’t have the proper infrastructure for electric vehicles in India as of yet.
Exactly a year ago, in May, the company had exited from their partnership with the Reva Co., as M & M bought a large stake of 55.2% in Reva. Under their original plan, the venture of GM-Reva was supposed to produce an electric variant of Chevrolet Spark by 2010-end.
The Chevrolet Beat will be powered by a 1l diesel motor from July onwards. This will make it the smallest passenger vehicle diesel engine to be sold in India. The engine could also be available in other GM small cars such as the Spark and the U-va.
The company’s MD and President, Karl Slym, said that they missed the small car market as they did not offer a diesel variant. They expect this version to bring in 70% share in the overall sales of the model.
Another company official said that currently the new diesel motor option is only available for their Beat model; however they will introduce other options going ahead.
GM will also produce three more motors, which include another diesel motor, below 1.5l in capacity at their new plant in Talegaon. Of these, two motors are likely to be utilized in their mid-size Chevrolet Sail sedan that is expected to be launched in early 2012. Currently the plant produces the 1l diesel and the 1.2l petrol motors.