Mahindra has a goal of adding 5 lakh EV's on Indian roads by 2025 and it has already invested Rs 1,700 crore in it and also Rs 500 crore in an R&D centre. The EV technology plant in Bengaluru produces battery packs, power electronics and motors. A new manufacturing unit in Pune will manufacture EV's.
Mahindra Group Managing Director and CEO Anish Shah said, "There are multiple capabilities we have within the group. We have capabilities in Detroit, we have capability in Automobili Pininfarina and our Formula E,". Shah who recently took over as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said adding those are going to combine to get an electric platform for India.
Mahindra is bullish for the last mile EV segment, which is three-wheelers and small four-wheelers for passengers and load. Here the cost of ownership is now the same as that of conventional vehicles with charging not an issue due to swappable batteries.
"So for the last mile segment, we see it taking off in the short term. In the next two or three years, it should become a very significant part. For four-wheelers it is going to take long... Infrastructure is not going to come in until the cost of ownership is equal. A lot of things have to work together but we see a three to five years horizon for that to happen." - said Shah.
In terms of partnerships the company has already partnered with an Israeli company called REE electric for producing smaller trucks and commercial vehicles. But for producing four wheelers its going to take some time for the company to get everything together.
Also the Mahindra Treo Zor cargo loader, has crossed the one-thousand-unit sales mark with six months of launch. According to the company Treo Zor has become the largest selling three-wheeler electric cargo carrier in the country with a market share of 59% in the segment.
We are very happy to see Mahindra Electric focussing on commercial electric vehicles and last mile solutions. That is where Mahindra has traditionally been very good at. But we feel Mahindra can still do more. If you visit the Mahindra small commercial vehicle website, they have so many variety of models like - Bolero pick up, Jeeto, Supro, Mini truck, Mini Van. All of these will need to have an EV option. Lakhs of these pollution causing vehicles are sold all over India each year. Selling a few thousand EV's is not good enough. But we are glad Mahindra has set a goal of selling 5 Lakh EV's by 2025. But in order to meet that goal, they will need to electrify more variants and offer them pan India.
Also it has to be appreciated Mahindra is now, making the Treo Zor cargo loader in India except the Lithium-Ion cells. The motor, electronics, BMS and battery pack are made in-house. This is brilliant to know and it shows how far Indian companies are pushing towards localization and to get rid of the Chinese dependence.
We are also waiting for the launch of the eKUV Compact SUV and Atom electric cars. While the eKUV might disappoint many people due to its estimated low range of 150 km, it has a lot of promise for employee pickup and as a fleet solution.