Mahindra & Mahindra is betting on electric vehicles despite the hurdles brought by the COVID-19 outbreak and geopolitical tensions between India and China. The company has committed an investment of INR 1,500 crore in Mahindra electric cars and commercial vehicles, as per a new report from thehindubusinessline.com.
In an interaction held during the launch of the Telangana Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy, 2020, Dr. Pawan Goenka, MD & CEO, M&M, talked about the company’s EV business. “We have committed an investment of INR 1,000 crore and plan to invest another INR 500 crore,” he said.
INR 500 crore would go into the setting up of Mahindra Electric’s new R&D centre near the Bengaluru airport which was announced last month. The tech centre could initially focus on commercial vehicles for the first and last mile mobility/delivery segment and low cost electric vehicles that could take on Maruti and Hyundai.
Dr. Goenka called for providing an impetus to electric commercial vehicles and said that making EVs popular in the passenger vehicle space “will take some time.” After several delays, the company plans to launch the Mahindra eKUV100 in early 2021. The Mahindra eXUV300 launch is also facing a delay. It could arrive in late 2021 or early 2022 now, Dr. Goenka has confirmed. Later, we could see an EV based on an SUV co-developed with Ford.
The Mahindra eKUV100 launch would bring excitement in the passenger vehicle space, as it would come at an attractive price of INR 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom, incl. FAME II subsidy). Currently, most passenger electric cars cost more than INR 10 lakh (ex-showroom). The Maruti Wagon R electric launch next year should also contribute to making electric cars more accessible. Dr. Goenka said that that electric cars are already attractive for fleet customers now. As for electric three-wheelers and electric two-wheelers, he said that the former’s adoption has already begun and the latter’s adoption “will be the next big thing”.