14th-Feb-2012: Chevrolet Beat electric was displayed at the Auto expo 2012 held in Delhi. The electric version of Chevrolet’s sporty hatchback-Beat is powered by a lithium-ion battery which is good to go at least 130 km in a single full charge under normal driving situations. There has been no news of this hatchback car coming anytime in near future from Chevrolet’s stable. However, if it launches and cut a competitive price, it can be successful in India. Chevrolet Beat Electric price would be no less than Rs 8 lakh-Rs 9 lakh.
Chevrolet Beat Electric, the fully electric car, was first displayed at World Environment Day in 2011 as a demonstration vehicle. Chevrolet, through which GM operates in India, showcased the effectiveness of battery electric vehicle technology by Chevrolet’s electric car. Then again, Chevrolet Beat Electric was on stage in the Auto Expo 2012, which is a biennial show for Automobiles held on a global platform in India. With the Chevrolet Beat EV in India in future, we can have the Chevrolet Beat in all the fuel variants viz. Petrol, Diesel, LPG and Electric.
GM has developed electric technology though its in-house research facilities. They have developed Battery technologies, power trains, automotive grade electric motors, power electronics etc. GM boasts of one of the most superior battery laboratories in the world at the Technical Center in Warren Michigan, USA and another lab will be coming up soon in China to support the ongoing research in the field of automobile battery technologies.General Motors partnered with Reva Motors to gain expertise in making electric cars. However, this partnership was dissolved in 2010. Only after this break-up, did Mahindra & Mahindra acquire a 55% stake in Reva. Reva Electric Car Company had entered into an agreement with General Motors India in 2009 to develop electric cars in the country, including an electric version of the Chevrolet Spark. That never happened, but Chevrolet came up with Beat electric which is still to be launched in India. The launch is being delayed as India misses on a thorough infrastructure requisite for electric cars.
The Chevrolet Beat Electric has inherited the looks and features from the existing Beat petrol variant. A 300 cell liquid-cooledlithium-ion battery powers the EV. Beat electric shares the same battery pack of Chevrolet Volt present in US. The Beat Electric uses a 240 V power source to get fully charged in just 8 hours. The total energy capacity of the Beat EV battery is 20 kWh. Under standard driving conditions, the battery operated car Beat goes up to 130 km in one charge. This is higher than Mahindra Reva, which goes around 80 to 100 km in one charge. The battery weight is 270 Kg and it has kept the weight of the car somewhat the same as its petrol sibling. In addition, the battery pack in the Beat EV has a wide range of operating temperature. It can operate approximately at-20 degrees to 45 degrees. A single speed motors transfers the power from the battery to the wheels. The electric motor inside the Chevrolet Beat EV produces 45 kW (60 hp) of power. The electric motor will result in good acceleration and starting torque. The sky-rocketing fuel prices can make this upcoming car sell like hot cake in India.
Chevrolet chose India as a significant market to examine battery electric technology and make this technology more affordable. According to senior officials of General Motors, GM India will lead in this ‘tailored for India’ program for battery electric technology, with Chevrolet Beat chosen as the best way to evaluate the technology. It’s about time the Indian market gets practical electric cars. One can notice, automatic gearbox in the new electric car in single drive mode. It is said that General Motors will showcase the technology in other countries including Korea, China and Germany.
Chevrolet Beat Electric features outnumber that of Mahindra Reva. Firstly, where there is only a comfortable seating for two people in Reva, Beat seats five people comfortably. Though there is a rear seat in Reva as well, it is too congested to seat anyone comfortably, except the kids. Next, while Reva looks more like a toy car, Beat Electric is a full grown hatchback. Another big catch for Beat EV would be its pricing which is expected to remain around Rs 8 lakh to Rs 9 lakh. The interiors and exteriors of the Chevrolet Beat Electric will be the same as that of its petrol variant. GM could play a little with the overall weight of the car and would try to keep the weight of Chevrolet Beat electric as low as possible. A complete Chevrolet Beat electric review will be made available once the car is launched in India. The additional features in the optional pack are the satin Silver Roof Tails, Dual Air Bags and Front Seat Belts with Load Limiters along with Anti-Brake system.
Polaris Industries car manufacturing subsidiary hopes to make its foray with electric cars in India. The electric cars 'Gem' and 'Breeze' which are already sold in the U.S. and the European markets will be brought into the Indian market first before they consider their other range of vehicles for the country. However, Pankaj Dubey, Polaris India Managing Director was a little skeptical about the lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles in India.read more