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LOVEBIRD: India’s First Electric Car

Over the years, India has become one of the world’s biggest car markets. A lot of automakers, including foreign ones and homegrown Indians, worked to introduce a slew of new cars during the initial days, however. While there were a few international manufacturers who introduced and later packaged their bags in India, there were also a few Indian manufacturers who tried and failed. Here is one such Indian maker who introduced the Lovebird, India’s first electric vehicle.

The Lovebird path was introduced by the Eddy Electric series back in 1993. The car was displayed at the Auto Expo in Delhi and won a few awards at the event as well. Also, the Indian government gave the car a green light. However, the maker closed its shop in India because of poor profits,

Constructed in partnership with Yaskawa Electric Mfg by Eddy Current Controls (India) Ltd. Co. in Tokyo, Japan. The car was installed in Chalakudy, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore. A direct current electric motor powered by a rechargeable portable battery was offered by the two-seater Lovebird. A lead-acid battery pack was used, as the battery packs were not as advanced back then. It is not known the exact number of the cells and there is also no detail on the battery capacity. It also came with electronic chopper control that provided the driver with a smooth speed control system.

The car came with transmission as well. To have the utmost quality, it had a four-speed reverse gear. According to the data, on a single charge, the Lovebird could travel 60 km. The maker tried to attract buyers who only want vehicles for urban use. Back then, there was no fast-charging system and the battery pack took about 8 hours to fully charge. There were also other limits on the electric vehicle, including a grade limit of 15 degrees. It suggests that, if necessary, the car could not climb steep slopes. Back then, though, there were almost no steep flyovers to challenge the car.

Why was it discontinued?

Back then, the Lovebird selling never reached a three-digit figure. Also, at present, the popularity of electric cars is not a mystery to anybody, because we all know how consumers keep away from EVs. This vehicle must have been forced to sink by a power outage, proper electricity supply and other reasons back then. The government also discontinued the car buyer incentive, which also made it very costly.

There are several other Indian makers, apart from this electric car, including Sipani, Kazah, Aravind, and Meera. To introduce a new car and post the Maruti Suzuki 800 era, there were quite a few roadblocks, the Indian demand totally shifted.

Electric cars in India

The electric car bandwagon gathered some momentum after the arrival of the Reva on the Indian market. The journey of the Reva, however, did not last for long. Mahindra acquired it and the E2O was launched. Tata, MG and Hyundai now sell on-the-market electric SUVs. There are, though, a few hybrid vehicles that are going to be launched in 2021 and in the coming years.

 

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