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Chetan Maini wins 2011 Economist Innovation Award for Energy & Environment Print E-mail
Written by James   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Bangalore: Chetan Maini, inventor of the REVA electric vehicle, was awarded the Economist Innovation Award for Energy and the Environment 2011, at the Science Museum in London on Thursday 20th October 2011.

Chetan Maini, chief of technology and strategy at Mahindra Reva, was the recipient of the Award in recognition of his pioneering work producing affordable electric vehicles through the company he founded, Reva Electric Car Company.

Mahindra Reva is a pioneer of electric vehicle (EV)technologies and one of the first companies to introduce electric vehicles worldwide.  Founded in 1994 as Reva Electric Car Company, a joint venture between the Maini Group of Bangalore and AEV LLC of USA, the company was acquired in May 2010 by the USD 12.5 billion Mahindra Group of India.

"Maini’s success reminds us that electric cars need not be expensive, and that developed countries do not have a monopoly on innovation. Indeed, India has emerged as the champion of ‘frugal innovation’, cutting costs to make new technologies more widely available," said Tom Standage, digital editor at The Economist, commenting on the award decision by a panel of independent judges.

Today, Mahindra Reva has one of the largest deployed fleets of EVs in the global market and the accumulated data from more than 180 million km of user experience. The company’s electric vehicle platforms, technologies and regional vehicle assembly are offered under license. A new factory with a capacity of 30,000 units per year is scheduled for completion by the end of 2011.

"This is definitely the most meaningful award that I have received to date. It has always been my dream to use technology to provide alternative green transportation that is affordable and makes a significant beneficial impact on society. It is also a great boost to the team at Mahindra Reva, who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.  To be recognised publicly by such a prestigious institution as The Economist gives us great pride and hope because what was once what was just a dream is finally on its way to becoming a reality," said Chetan Maini.

The REVA electric vehicle was launched in Bangalore in 2001 and then in London in 2004, (under the G-Wiz brand). In September 2009, at the 63rd Frankfurt International Motor Show, the company unveiled two new electric cars, the four seat REVA NXR and the two seat REVA NXG.

Mahindra Reva has 300 employees and is headquartered at the Bommasandra Industrial Area in Bangalore, India, next to Electronics City, one of the world's technology hubs.

"Chetan Maini is a pioneer in every sense of the word: challenging the status quo, overcoming technological limits and fuelling a revolution in automotive engineering.  By delivering successful consumer adoption, Chetan’s pursuit of mass-produced, affordable, electric vehicles demonstrated exactly what could be achieved: prompting further electric vehicle advancement, encouraging widespread low-carbon development and influencing the future of transportation. Chetan’s alternative thinking drove positive change," said Paul Compton, CEO of sponsor ARPRO® in EMEA, who presented the award.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Economist Innovation Awards and Summit. In 2006, Reva was acclaimed by Business World India as one of India’s “Cool Companies” and in 2008 was the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan European Automotive Powertrain Company of the Year award. In 2010 Overdrive, CNBC and TV 18 presented the REVAi with the Green Car of the Year award in India.

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