Mahindra Electric, on India's 75th Independence Day, revealed their electric car platform called the INGLO and five SUV models that will use the platform.
INGLO stands for Indian innovation at heart with a global reach. The platform has the following features.
- Modular scalable design that allows variable vehicle lengths, widths and wheelbases
- The platform also offers a significant reduction in underbody weight
- LFP chemistry based designs using two cell architectures - Blade and Prismatic.
- Battery packs with capacities of 60-80 kWh packs with high charge discharge cycles.
- 175 kW Fast Charge - 80% in less than 30 minutes
- Compact drivetrain with Motor, Transmission, Invertor, Controller integrated in a single unit
- Rear Wheel Drive offers upto 170 kW power
- All Wheel Drive offers 250 kW power
- 0-100 kmph in 6 seconds
- High Voltage platform
- Semi Active suspension system for enhanced handling
- Brake by wire technology allows multiple brake modes
- Designed Global N-Cap 5 star rating
Vehicle Computers & Interface
The onboard computers and display systems were showcased
- Three high performance computer
- Embedded 5G Network capability
- Over the air updates
- Dual Octa-Core processors
- Edge to Edge vista screen display
- Augmented Realty heads up display
- Voice commands
- 5 Radars and ADAS sensors for L2 autonomy
- Plugging in household appliances (V2L)
Mahindra spoke about two designs based on the INGLO platform
- Twin Peaks
Platforms! Platforms! Platforms!
Volkswagen designed the MEB platform for its ID. branded vehicles. Hyundai showed us the E-GMP platform. Tata showed us the Pure EV Architecture with the Avinya unveil and now Mahindra has shown us their platform and it is called INGLO.
The modular EV platform is nowdays referred to as a skateboard. All the important bits are combined into one unit then the body is fitted. The skateboard is suitable for multiple types of cars a 2-seater, a 5-passenger SUV, or even a pickup truck. Such simplicity also helps lower production costs, which is the key to profitability. Without the need to find a place for an engine, transmission, radiator, exhaust system, and driveshaft, there is a lot more room for people and their stuff inside, so electric cars feel more spacious even if they are the same size as traditional models on the outside. The features of the INGLO platform look good, and we are assuming liquid cooling of electronics and battery pack is part of it.
Mahindra did not mention the system voltage of the INGLO platform. They did mention 175 kW DC fast charging, so our guess is a 400V architecture based system.
It certainly looks like Mahindra have abandoned their low voltage platform called MESMA. They have moved on to INGLO which is future proof. Looking at the features of INGLO, I would say it is well ahead of Tata Motor's Ziptron platform. Ultimately Tata's PURE EV architecture will be competing with INGLO. One interesting aspect that was showcased here was the strong focus on LFP chemistry based cells. Also its interesting to note that they plan to use two form factors - Prismatic and Blade cells. Are Mahindra procuring blade cells from BYD? This would be interesting to know. If Mahindra has signed an agreement with BYD, then it would be a game changer. Vehicle to Load (V2L) seems to be an interesting feature, where you can plug in your appliances to the car and use the battery pack for energy.
Multiple computers in the car with a large touchscreen display and over the air updates all sound amazing. But we have to understand that we are talking about Mahindra here, who are essentially a car company and not a tech company. Unless the management shows a plan on how they are going to tackle software within the company, I will remain skeptical. All of these software driven drivetrains will be new territory for Mahindra and no major details on software investments was disclosed in this event.
All the five models shown are large sized SUV's. The efficiency on highways would be close to 300 wH/km which scares people like me away from such cars. But Mahindra are SUV kings and its normal that they will continue to create these monstrosities in the EV world.
I was blown away by the announcement today, but I expect Mahindra to have dedicated events giving us more details of the platform, software engineering and specifications of the models in the near future. Until then, you SUV lovers can drool over BE & Twin Peaks!