Mahindra introduced the eKUV100 at the Auto Expo 2020 pricing the car at Rs 8.25 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi, post subsidy), which made it the most affordable electric car in India. At the Auto Expo, Mahindra said the vehicle will be launched (sales launch) in the first quarter of the new financial year (April – June 2020).
However the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown a spanner in the works for almost every new product launch in India. Speaking to CarAndBike.com, Mahindra’s Sales & Marketing boss Veejay Ram Nakra has confirmed that the launch of the eKUV100 has been delayed. He did not elaborate on the new launch schedule.
The eKUV100 would be more appealing to the shared mobility customer (such as ride hailing services like Ola & Uber and rentals like Zoomcar and Drivezy) than private buyers as the savings are significant on electric vehicles for the fleet customer due to the government subsidy and the ownership cost as compared to a petrol vehicle in its fleet. If more people prefer to use own vehicles once the lockdown is eased to follow social distancing norms, there would be a significant impact on the business of some of these shared mobility players as people may not step into a cab unless they know well that it is sanitized. However one segment of shared mobility that could witness a positive growth (or perhaps a boom) when people return to work is self-drive car and bike rentals. That said, Mahindra Electric believes that a few personal car buyers would also find the eKUV100 attractive as a city car.
Above is a quick walkaround of the cheapest electric car in India right from its unveil at the 2020 Auto Expo. Note that Mahindra has not given detailed specifications and is withholding information for the pre-launch deep-dive session.
The Mahindra eKUV100 is powered by a 40 kW (53.6 hp) electric motor, producing a torque of 120 Nm and drives the front wheels. The eKUV100 offers a range of 147 km in a single charge and can be charged to 80 per cent in just one hour through DC fast charging.
Mahindra has retained the basic design and most of the styling of the eKUV100 from the regular KUV100 except for a few touches. There are no air dams and being electric, blue accents have been added to body and lights. A small applique comes onto the tailgate.
Here are the features of the KUV electric that Mahindra has advertised:
- Bold and Electric design
- Compact footprint
- Consistent performance from a liquid cooled battery
- Silent and Zippy Drive
Mahindra has also confirmed that the eKUV100 can be pre-cooled, can be remotely switched on and off, and will have digital connected features that will be revealed closer to the launch. The company has invested Rs 1,700 crore on the development of electric vehicles and that includes products, infrastructure and technology.