Mahindra, Vodafone roll out India's first M2M car

Mahindra, Vodafone roll out India's first M2M car

Summary: Mahindra e2o, an electric vehicle, becomes the first "connected" car in India with telematics-based features such as remote control of air-conditioning to pre-cool the car and technical support.

Naveen Chopra of Vodafone Business Chopra (left) and Chetan Maini of Mahindra Reva announce the M2M partnership for e2o, an electric car

On Wednesday, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, a part of the US$15.9 billion Mahindra Group, and Vodafone Business Services (VBS), the enterprise arm of Vodafone India announced a machine-to-machine (M2M) communication partnership, the first of its kind in India.

This partnership will enable Vodafone to provide M2M communication services to power the recently-launched electric vehicle--Mahindra e2o. The e2o is among a select few cars in the world to support telematics. This will be the first 'connected car' in India.

Mahindra Reva has developed a host of connectivity technologies in the e2o to help its owners remotely access various features and functions of their vehicle using a smartphone app or from a dedicated webpage.

With the help of Vodafone's services and a smart phone (or any Internet-connected computer), e2o owners can access the following services:

  • Know the state of charge in the battery of their car and how far they can travel with the available charge.
  • Remotely control its air-conditioning and set schedules to pre-heat or pre-cool the car before using it.
  • Lock or unlock the car doors.
  • Find the nearest charging stations.
  • Receive alerts on various events with the car such as a disruption in charging due to power cuts, safety-related reminders such as a door being left unlocked or a parking brake not applied.
  • Get an emergency boost charge with a command on the smartphone to go an extra 8 km to 10 km. This is the result of Mahindra Reva's patented technology – REVive. REVive is the first of its kind remote emergency charge activated through the smartphone app or a call to RIA (remote interactive assist). In the rare event of running low on charge, customers can use the app on their smart phones to remotely activate the reserve energy that can get them going.
  • Have the Mahindra Reva Tech Help Desk remotely do prognosis and diagnostics of the car.

Commenting on the partnership, Naveen Chopra, director, Vodafone Business Services said: "Vodafone is renowned globally for being a specialist in M2M solutions and a market leader in telematics. Leveraging our global expertise, we are the first telecom service provider to offer the M2M service platform in the Indian market today."

Chetan Maini, chief of strategy and technology, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles said in a statement: "The e2o is the first and only Indian car, and among the few worldwide, to have telematics-based features that enable 'anytime, anywhere connectivity' between our customers and their cars. Going forward, connected car technologies will make a difference to convenience and safety, thereby making a positive impact on the way people commute and interact with their cars."

Reva was the first electric vehicle in India, launched by Reva Electric Car Company (founded in 1994), a joint venture between the Maini Group of Bangalore and AEV LLC of USA. Reva Electric Car focused on creating affordable electric cars through advanced technology and launched its first model in India (Reva) in 2001 and in London in 2004. In May 2010, the Mahindra Group acquired a majority stake in the company, which was renamed Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles.

Topics: Networking, Mobility, Smartphones, India, Tapping M2M: The Internet of Things

Swati Prasad

About Swati Prasad

Swati Prasad is a New Delhi-based freelance journalist who spent much of the mid-1990s and 2000s covering brick-and-mortar industries for some of India's leading publications. Seven years back when she took to freelancing, India was at the peak of its "outsourcing hub" glory and the world of Indian IT, telecom and Internet fascinated her. A self-proclaimed technophobic, Swati loves to report on anything that's remotely alien to her--be it cloud computing, telecom, BPOs, social media, e-government or software and hardware, and also how high-tech sectors impact the Indian economy.

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  • Connected India

    During 2 years of backpacking and living with desis in remote villages and towns across India I found locals to be more mobile-phone savvi then even American city folks.
    The landline era that skipped most of rural India made mobile a giant, but long awaited for, leap into the age of multi media. The cell phone, like a miracle medicine, patched many great needs all at once. Already in 2007, when I explored India for my first time, phone were surprisingly almost everywhere: as boomboxes for room parties, An family on-demand TV (here's an example I snapped:, cameras for everyday use (people used to ask me which phone is my digital camera, cause India skipped the generation of stand-alone compact cameras all together). Also, innovative usage went far beyond what I've seen in the west, for example a deaf and mute member of a family I stayed with used video chatting in sign language with his modest Samsung. (here's a video I took of that: Making this happen was a grassroot industry of amazingly self-taught technitias spread out in every "no-where" town (here's one:

    So I was not surprised to find an electric car in serial manfacturing, the REVA side by side in a country that also respect and manufactures the 70 year old Ambassador, like in this Pondicherri street:

    Keep it up, Mahindra... an old name with bright futuristic ideas