India’s green revolutionary on wheels

mainiandreva.jpgIn Mint Lounge, Venkatasha Babu profiles Chetan Kumar Maini, designer and manufacturer of the eco-friendly car called the Reva in India and the G-Whiz in the UK. Later this year he plans to introduce a dramatically revamped model that will will run for at least 150-200km before it requires recharging.

Call it prescience or plain luck. Even before oil prices touched a record $100 (around Rs4,000) a barrel, and it became both “geek chic” and economical to own a green auto, Chetan Kumaar Maini was in the business of manufacturing eco-friendly cars. Maini’s baby, called the Reva in India and the G-Whiz in the UK, can be spotted on the roads of Bangalore and outside hip homes in Chelsea.

We are sitting in the clubhouse of the Karnataka Golf Association, which overlooks a spread of manicured green. An evening breeze blows across the fairways as we sip hot cups of tea. The noise, dust and grime of Bangalore roads are mercifully out of seeing and hearing range.

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