Ford Aspire electric sedan project delayed, to be ready only in FY22

MoneyControl.com has reported that the first electric vehicle out of the Mahindra-Ford joint venture is facing a delay and that it will be ready only in FY 22 (1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022).

Moneycontrol.com says that the current Ford Aspire is proving “too expensive to convert to electric.” The two companies had presented a proof of concept this year taking the full-body Aspire (that is exported to South Africa) with the inner workings sourced from Mahindra Electric. The first working prototype featured the eVerito’s 72V system, but this was only to show that a battery pack, motor and controller could be packaged into the Aspire’s monocoque.

2018 Ford Figo sedan rear
It was reported that the full-size Ford Aspire (pictured) with the bigger boot (as GST norms on vehicle length don’t apply to EVs) would be base of the first electric vehicle from the Indo-American combine.

The production version of the Ford Aspire Electric was expected to get the 380 V system (showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo as the MESMA) having a larger battery and a high-spec motor. AutocarIndia.com had reported that Mahindra was developing a 60 kW motor (2x the output of the eVerito) matched to a 25kWh battery (up from the eVerito’s 20 kWh) that would provide a real world range of about 150 km with a decent top speed of 110 kmph. The car was anticipated to come well under a price of INR 15 lakh.

Neither Ford nor Mahindra announced a launch date for the electric car but reports said it would be ready by end of 2020 with the companies changing the car’s front and the rear (along with plastic parts, wheels and badges) to be able to sell them through their respective dealerships as unique models.

Moneycontrol adds that the companies are “working on a new solution” and given that the product is pushed to FY22, it could well be that the JV is considering utilizing the shell of the second generation Ford Aspire, or repurpose a less expensive platform to launch the electric vehicle that would compete with the Tata Tigor EV.