5 things you should know about the Mahindra eKUV100 [Update]

Update: MotorOctane reader Shubham Shinde has shared spy shots of a showroom-ready Mahindra eKUV100 prototype in the special dark blue body colour. The test mule features headlamps and tail lamps with a blue tint on their sides. A plaque on the tailgate garnish featuring one of the polarity signs confirms that this is an EV. These features are exclusive to the electric variant of the Mahindra KUV100.

In December last year, Mahesh Babu, MD & CEO, Mahindra Electric, revealed to the thehindubusinessline.com that the Mahindra eKUV100 is scheduled to go on sale in Q1 2021 (January-March 2021). At the media roundtable that took place after the Mahindra Zor’s launch in October 2020, Dr. Pawan Goenka, MD & CEO, Mahindra & Mahindra, had said that the Mahindra eKUV100 will arrive in three months.

Sales may now begin between March and June, as the recovery in the shared mobility segment is gradual and the semi conductor shortage has also thrown production plans out of gear.

The Mahindra eKUV100, or just Mahindra eKUV is one of the most anticipated new electric car launches in India in 2021. In this story we analyze the different aspects of India’s cheapest electric car in the making.

Design

For the most part, the Mahindra eKUV100 looks like the petrol edition with some customary EV-style changes such as a closed-off upper grille and blue trails. Dark blue accent on the nose cone, headlamps, tail lamps and the wheel caps serve as identifiers. A unique garnish used for the headlights and tailgate, with the plaque on the latter featuring + and – signs serve as a reference to battery polarity. The interior design looks identical but the electric variant does have its own seat covers with blue highlights, though.

Charging ports are located on both the front fenders. We don’t know the colour options Mahindra will offer for the eKUV100 yet, but we’re expecting both white and blue. The company showcased a white sample at Auto Expo 2020 and presented a dark blue unit in a promo video, seen below.

Mahindra eKUV100 Electric Blue body colour - Mahindra electric car
Screen capture from Mahindra’s official video showing the eKUV100 in a Blue body colour.

Features

Unlike the KUV100, the Mahindra electric car features various connected car solutions, such as remote door lock/unlock, cabin precooling, location tracking, remote diagnostics, driving pattern monitor, etc via a smartphone app. Its equipment highlights will include a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, steering-mounted audio controls and standard dual airbags.

The display unit at Auto Expo 2020 was missing alloy wheels and automatic climate control. It looks like even the all-electric variant will settle for steel wheels with caps and manual AC. On the plus side, it does offer the convenience of an automatic transmission, which should make urban driving easy.

Mahindra eKUV100 interior
The Mahindra eKUV100 has the same interior design as the KUV100. It will likely come in only a standard trim.

The Mahindra eKUV100 is the company’s first in-house all-electric car. The Mahindra e20 had Reva roots, while the Mahindra eVerito is basically an electrified 2004 Dacia Logan/Renault Logan (Mk1). The Mahindra eKUV100 is the first of many new 100% Mahindra electric cars to come. Price is of the essence right now, and so, those worried about the unusual cost-cutting in this model can wait for the Mahindra eXUV300 and other more premium EVs arriving from next year that won’t skim on features and offer abundant travel range and performance.

Mahindra has invested INR 1,700 crore on the development of EVs as of February 2020. That, along with another INR 500 crore going into EV-specific R&D unit and components plant, makes us feel very confident about the next wave of EVs coming from the company beginning with this model.

Specifications

The Mahindra eKUV100 rides on the new light EV platform called MESMA 48 and in this case, it is a 72V system. The MESMA 48 platform is scalable in terms of both range and performance. It offers voltage systems ranging from 44 volts to 96 volts and can be utilised for three-wheelers, quadricycles and city cars. It is possible to offer MESMA 48 platform EVs with low-cost Lithium-iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries and also high-energy-density Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) batteries.

The Mahindra eKUV100 has a single electric motor that generates 40 kW (54.35 PS) and 120 Nm of torque. It has a 15.9 kWh battery pack that gives a range of 147 km (claimed by Mahindra). The liquid-cooled battery pack supports fast charging, and fast charging to 80% capacity takes 55 minutes. Dimensions have not been released, and shouldn’t be very different from the Mahindra KUV100. The standard vehicle is 3,700 mm long, 1,735 mm wide and 1,655 tall. Its wheelbase is 2,385 mm.

Mahindra eKUV100 ParameterSpecification
Battery Pack TypeLithium-ion
Battery Pack Capacity15.9 kWh
Motor Power40 kW (54 PS)
Motor Torque120 Nm
Range147 km
80% Fast-Charging Time55 minutes

Target customer

Shared mobility customers would find the eKUV100 more appealing (such as ride-hailing services like Ola & Uber, rentals like Zoomcar and Drivezy, and other mobility companies like Lithium Urban Technologies) than private buyers as the savings are significant on electric vehicles for the fleet customer due to the government subsidy and the running as compared to a petrol vehicle in its fleet. For the same reason, Mahindra could do a fleet launch for the eKUV and make vehicles available without long wait times.

While the cost-conscious and value-conscious fleet buyers are the primary group, Mahindra feels the electric KUV would also meet demands of certain personal consumers. Mahindra Electric believes that a few personal car buyers would also find the eKUV100 attractive as a city car. With personal car ownership on the rise, the company could make the eKUV available to all buyer categories later.

That said, Mahindra will launch new electric vehicles developed especially for individual customers from the second half of this year, beginning with the Mahindra eXUV300. The MESMA 350 EV platform enables vehicles with up to 500 km range and the eXUV300 would have a range of around 370 km, competing with the Tata Nexon EV.

Mahindra eKUV100 Price

The Mahindra eKUV100 price in India was announced at the Auto Expo 2020 as INR 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi, post-FAME-II subsidy) making this Mahindra electric car the most affordable vehicle in the country in the passenger car category. In Delhi, thanks to the Delhi Electric Vehicles Policy, 2020, road tax and registration fees for BEVs are waived that would bring down the acquisition cost of the eKUV100 further.

Mahindra eKUV100 FAQs

What is the price of the Mahindra eKUV100?

The price of the Mahindra eKUV100 is expected at INR 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi, including FAME-II subsidy)

When is the launch of the eKUV100?

The launch of the Mahindra eKUV100 will be held between March and June this year.

What is the range of the eKUV100?

The company-claimed travel range of the new Mahindra electric car is 147 km.

M&M is considering exporting the eKUV100 to South Africa, and may begin shipments of the new Mahindra electric car in 2022 to address the need for a low-cost last mile people mover in emerging markets and regions where the brand has some presence.

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