For almost two years, Mahindra has evinced interest in entering the quadricycle segment that currently has a single player – the Bajaj Qute, which is confirmed to receive an electric variant. M&M company presented a concept vehicle at the Auto Expo 2018 called the Mahindra ATOM, a unique mobility concept to “reimagine last-mile connectivity.”
In a call earlier this month, Dr Pawan Goenka MD of M&M, confirmed that plans were on track for the launch of the last mile connectivity vehicle and, like the concept, would be powered by an electric heart:
What we call internally C100, which is a last mile connectivity, electric vehicle, sort of a different concept than anything which is existing today, we will launch somewhere around second or third quarter of FY ’21.
The Mahindra ATOM showcased at the Auto Expo was designed to “change the face of public transportation.” Here’s what the company had to say about the vehicle at the Auto Expo:
It is powered by Mahindra’s new electric Powertrain which features batteries that can be swapped to extend the vehicle’s range, allowing it to operate uninterrupted for long hours. The ATOM is a key feature of Mahindra’s mobility vision for India, giving the country its own, indigenously-built, last-mile urban mobility solution. It is also equipped with an intelligent connectivity system, making bookings and payments seamless and easy. At the same time its smart technology allows one to seamlessly connect with multiple transport modes, keeping passengers posted on the next departing train, bus or flight and the nearest boarding points on a real-time basis, apart from a host of safety and convenience features.Press Release – ‘Mahindra showcases the ‘Future of Mobility’ at Auto Expo 2018’.
M&M had not spelled out the technical specifications, but being a low cost vehicle we presume it features a 48V system powered by a LFP battery (lithium ferrophosphate) with an output of about 7.37 kWh (as in the Mahindra Treo auto rickshaw) providing a range of 80-100 km on a charge.
While design inspiration and core values of maximum space in a minimum footprint would come from the ATOM, the quality, fit and finish level would be far lower to be able to keep the vehicle very affordable. And since it is a quadricycle, it wouldn’t require ABS brakes, airbag or parking sensors to pass homologation.
Embedded video of the ATOM walkaround from the Auto Expo courtesy of creator ‘The Vehicles’