When it comes to the electric segment in the Indian automotive market, the options to choose from are extremely sparse. Yes, with Hyundai coming in with a great product in the form of the Kona, the electric adoption is certainly going to speed up, it’s price tag though isn’t going to make it a commercial success.
If one was to choose a car that is electric but still fell within the budget of a buyer looking for a hatchback in today’s market, there is essentially a singular option in the form of the Mahindra e2o Plus.
The e2o Plus is the successor to the Mahindra Reva that you might have seen driven around beat officers or that one person that decided to buy it when it was launched. Regardless the e2o Plus offers up a more practical package for city usability with more than enough room to seat four people.
Is this aging electric hatchback from Mahindra any good? Let’s jump in to find out.
The Environmental Factor
4 Doors instead of the 2 on the e2o
Impressive Rear Legroom
Dent Resistant ABS Panels
Quite expensive for what it offers
Top Speed-Only 85 kmph limits its highway use
Fit and Finish
Inconvenience of finding charging spots
The 2019 Model Year might prove to be the last production year for the Mahindra e2o Plus as the manufacturer paves the way for launching the KUV electric. Having two similar-sized offerings with the same feature sets certainly doesn’t make sense and as the KUV is a more established platform in comparison to the e2o Plus, it is the e2o that is getting axed.
The Mahindra e2o Plus was initially launched in 4 variants i.e. P2, P4, P6 and P8. But for the 2019 model year, it has been narrowed down to only two variants, that is, P4 and P6. Mahindra ended the production of other two because of lower sales figures.
Even if Mahindra had not downsized the variant lineup of the e2o Plus, our recommendation would still have been in the form of the P6 variant as it proves to be the most value for money with its additional features in the form of an infotainment system, reversing camera, fabric upholstery among others. The now-discontinued P8 model was certainly the boldest choice as you were paying over 2.5 lakhs more for a car that just had 30 km more range than the standard and not a lot of extra grunt and for a strict city car, it certainly didn’t make any sense.
The Mahindra e2o Plus “engine” is obviously not an engine but a 19 kW electric induction motor that generates 25.5 bhp which is exactly the same as the 2 door model but the 70Nm torque output is quite a substantial gain when viewed in contrast of the 53 Nm of torque available on the 2 door variant.
The biggest advantage of having an electric-powered vehicle is the availability of power and torque right from the get-go due to the flat torque phenomena, this makes the rather poor seeming power output just about decent for the e2o and should see you loitering around in the city with little to no effort.
Mahindra e2o Plus
Price (Ex-Delhi) in INR
19 kW Electric Motor
When it comes to the acceleration figures of the Mahindra e2o Plus, it becomes quite evident that the car was never developed with performance in mind as it can not even do the traditional 0-100 run as it tops out at a mere 85 kmph. Mahindra though claims that the 0-60 time on the e2o is 9.5 seconds which isn’t really terrible for a city runabout vehicle that is never going to see the highway.
The Mahindra e2o Plus is certainly no highway prowler and is, therefore, better off judged in the confines of the city as its performance parameters justify it. The light power steering of the e2o plus certainly is very user-friendly in the city as it aids parking and maneuverability but the fact that it is 4 turns lock to lock feels just overdone. The tall stance and build of the e2o also come off as a shortcoming in the bends as the car tends to lean a lot when it is put through the bends even though overall the car is quite flat.
The suspension, however, is an entirely different ball game as the e2o plus posses a very harsh ride. The e2o 2 door was criticized for its pretty poor ride comfort and that has been somewhat addressed in the plus variant but it still remains pretty uncomfortable for daily use. The car tends to bounce around on bad road patches and all the harshness is transferred unfiltered to the cabin. Every small pothole and bump is felt right in your spine and God forbid if you miss spotting one and go over it too fast, you might just be stopping on the side of the road for some Yoga. The harshness is even more amplified in the rear seats where the passengers are literally going conk off their heads if you go through a bump too fast.
The e2o Plus comes shod with discs up front and drums in the rear, this for a small city hatchback serves to be enough as the car is quite predictable in it’s barking and provides sufficient bite. The issue though comes in the form of the long pedal travel that certainly eats up into the feedback of the brake which might tinker with the ability of you modulating it well.
Mahindra e2o Plus
Curb Weight (kg)
The lack of Anti Lock Brakes (ABS) isn’t very prominent as even under aggressive braking the wheels didn’t lock as such but for a car at this price point not having ABS is quite a bummer.
Well, when it comes to fuel economy we can certainly not judge the Mahindra e2o on its kmpl ratings now, can we?
The e2o with its 19kw motor is rated at 110 km of range at a single charge which might just be enough for your daily commuting needs. With the amount of range that is being offered by the e2o Plus, it is definitely a vehicle that would need to be recharged daily. The e2o takes up to 9 hours to charge from flat to full if you are using that standard 3 kW charger but can be charged from 0-95% in just about 90 minutes if you use the rapid charge port.
The 110 km range is really restrictive and might prove to be a big source of discouragement as range anxiety is quite real, but if you look at it rationally, the range is not really abysmal for a city runabout.
Mahindra e2o Plus
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
In the real world, you can expect the Mahindra e2o Plus to return anywhere from 80-100 km per single charge depending on how judicious you are with your driving. It also comes available with a REVIVE function that can be activated using the infotainment screen which unlocks an additional 5 kms of range if the battery runs out.
The Mahindra e2o Plus has certainly grown in size when looked at as it is now almost similar in dimensions to compact premium hatch. The e2o plus has grown quite a lot longer than it’s 2 door siblings to the tune of almost 310 mm which has certainly opened up a lot of room for the back seats.
The e2o Plus also now looks less like an electric vehicle and more like a genuine city hatchback that is up for the task. It has certainly lost it's like appearance for a more mature design.
Mahindra e2o Plus
Kerb weight (kg)
Ground clearance (mm)
Some of the notable exterior features are:
Halogen Projector Headlamps
Charging Plug Lid
No Fog Lamps
Scissor Style Wipers
Mom-Body Coloured Handles
Standard Long Antenna
Gloss Black Contrast Roof
Quarter Glass Mounted Rear Door Handles
The interiors on the Mahindra e2o Plus are nothing to rave about as they are just basic in their entirety. For a car that costs as much as the e2o does the interiors are not even of the quality that would nowadays be found in cars with half the price tag. The interior panels are made up of hard and scratchy plastics that have a terrible fit and finish. There are numerous uneven panel gaps, gaping holes and an overall lack of solidity. The doors upon closing tend to thunk and rattle quite noticeably and certainly spoil the cabin experience.
The Steering wheel is definitely the most basic unit in a car at this price tag as there is no steering mounted control that is present and the steering wheel as a whole looks like it has been lifted right out of a Mahindra commercial vehicle. The speedometer is a completely digital unit that is as simple as it gets for digital speedometers as it has a simple blue backlight and mono style display which is in no form aesthetically pleasing or high quality.
It is a similar story when it comes to the switchgear of the car as they feel particularly cheap and flimsy to operate. The interiors on the e2o are certainly underwhelming for the product, if you take aside the fact that the e2o plus is an electric vehicle, you would certainly never come to terms with paying so much for so little.
The infotainment system on the Mahindra e2o Plus is a restive touch screen unit by Blaupunkt that is powered by Android. The head unit might not be extremely pleasant to look at but does its job just about fine. The infotainment screen is a resistive touch screen does take some getting used to as it might fail to register touches a couple of times. The user interface is fairly simple as it resembles a cross between Android and Windows. The graphics are certainly not something that is very nice on the eyes but are snappy enough to not be a sore spot either.
The Audio output though is pretty sad on the e2o Plus as the low frequencies/bass is non-existent and the overall sound output is just underwhelming.
The Infotainment screen also houses a couple of other functions in the form of:
Battery level Indicator
Audio Video User Manual
Support for the Official App Connectivity
Using the official Mahindra App, one can look at the charging status of the car, pre-condition the cabin, check lock status among a few.
The car in its P6 trim also comes available with a rearview camera which isn’t very high quality either and is quite low mounted. It has static guidelines and is just about an average experience.
Push Button Start
Rear View Camera
Touch Screen Infotainment
App Control for Car Functions
The Cargo Space on offer on the Mahindra e2o Plus is certainly no match for the boot capacity of a normal-sized hatchback as it stands at a meager 135 Litres of boot space but for a car that isn’t going to leave the city, the space is quite usable.
Mahindra e2o Plus
Cargo Volume with rear seats up (Litres)
You can carry your groceries with ease and your daily use backpacks and satchels should fit right in due to the flat loading lip. The rear seats can also be folded down to open up if you need additional cargo space in a pinch.
When it comes to the safety of the Mahindra e2o Plus, it is quite an underwhelming affair. One of the major reasons for discontinuation of the Mahindra e2o Plus is its inability to conform to the newer safety norms that are about to kick in. With the lack of basic safety features in the form of Airbags and Anti Lock Brakes, the e2o Plus is definitely not a choice if safety is your priority(It definitely should be your priority.
The Mahindra e2o Plus thus falls flat on its face due to the lack of support from Mahindra as well as not every service centre is going to be able to undertake work on your e2o plus as it is not an all service centre supported product.
At this price point currently, the Mahindra e2o Plus is a solo hatchback offering that comes fully electric. Yes, there is Mahindra’s own Verito electric but it isn’t a rival to the e2o Plus. Cars like the TATA Tiago EV is still in the pre-production stage and by the time they are launched the e2o Plus will most definitely be phased out.
It is therefore quite obvious that the Mahindra e2o Plus is a lone wolf in a category that is yet to take off and the irony is that the e2o plus is going to bid farewell to the same category that is created just before the category is about to take off.
The Mahindra e2o Plus was a very appreciated effort from Mahindra at the time when it was launched. Certain refinements throughout its life cycle have certainly helped in keeping it relevant but time has really caught up to it as it now faces the axe due to its own misgivings In the form of lack of complete safety.
The Mahindra e2o Plus as it now stands is still an expensive purchase for a car that is restricted to 85 kmph and can’t do over 110 kms in a single charge making it a very expensive scooter replacement for most. The lack of quality and overall support really does break the case for this electric hatch but certainly sets a solid foundation to provide us with a very capable addition in the form of the KUV 100 EV.