With increased consumer awareness and government support in place, it is the opportune time to enter the electric passenger vehicle segment, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said on Monday. With an eye on gaining leadership in the electric four-wheeler segment, the Indian auto major announced that it will launch five new electric Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for both domestic and international markets, with the first four expected to hit the road between 2024 and 2026.
The company would introduce the first of the five e-SUVs towards the end of 2024, starting with the Indian market. Mahindra currently does not have a presence in the electric passenger segment. It however is the leading player in the domestic electric three-wheeler space with over 70 percent market share.
"Today with government support, rapid lowering of the cost of ownership and increased consumer awareness of environmental awareness issues, we believe that the time is ripe and right for us to enter the four-wheeler markets with our range of battery electric vehicles," Mahindra stated.
He noted that the five electric SUVs were the "cornerstone of company's global ambitions".
Mahindra noted that British International Investment (BII) has already committed to invest up to $250 million (nearly Rs. 2,000 crore) in the company's electric vehicle venture.
Last month, BII announced that it will invest Rs. 1,925 crore in Mahindra & Mahindra's new electric vehicle arm. As per an agreement between the two partners, new electric vehicle company EV Co is envisaged to have a total capital infusion of around $1 billion (nearly Rs.7,930 crore) between FY24 and FY27 for planned product portfolio.
M&M had stated that BII's investment is designed to significantly accelerate the availability and adoption of electric vehicles in India and other markets served by the automaker.
The automaker said the five electric SUV models would be introduced under two brands — XUV and the all-new electric-only brand called BE. Legacy brands will come under XUV brand while the all new electric model would be rolled out under the BE lineage.
Mahindra also showcased its new INGLO platform that will underpin all the Mahindra EVs going forward. Mahindra Group Managing Director & CEO Anish Shah said the new electric SUVs provide a strategic direction that is in line with its core philosophy of providing customers future-ready technology.
"By 2027, we expect that a quarter of the SUVs we sell will be electric," he noted.
In FY22, the automaker sold a total of around 2.25 lakh SUVs in the domestic market.
M&M Executive Director — Auto and Farm Sectors — Rajesh Jejurikar said the five electric SUVs provide a glimpse of the company's strategic direction.
"We aim to not only electrify the roads but also the hearts and minds of SUV aficionados in India and around the world," he added.
The automaker on Monday also formally inaugurated its new design centre Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E), which will serve as the conceptual hotbed for the company's portfolio of EV products.
In the domestic electric vehicle segment, currently it is the Tata Motors which leads the space with its Nexon EV.
Other models in the mainstream EV space include Hyundai Kona and MG ZS.
The company and global auto major Volkswagen on Monday also said they have inked a pact to further explore co-operation in the electric vehicles segment.
The companies have inked a term sheet on the supply of MEB (modular electric drive matrix) electric components for the Mumbai-based automaker's new electric platform INGLO, deepening the partnering agreement from earlier this year.
The partnership intends to have a volume of more than one million units over lifetime and include the equipment of five all-electric SUVs with MEB components.
In addition, the two companies will explore further opportunities for collaboration, opening the perspective towards a broader strategic alliance to accelerate the electrification of the Indian automotive market, the companies said in a joint statement.
The term sheet covers all major commercial and technical terms along with a path to the potential localisation of the battery system. The final supply agreement will be negotiated in a continued constructive and legally compliant way by the end of 2022.
Regarding the next step towards a possible strategic alliance for India, both companies have agreed to explore further potential areas of collaboration in the field of e-mobility, including vehicle projects, localisation of battery cell manufacturing and charging and energy solutions for the electric ecosystem in India, the companies said.
"Together, Volkswagen and Mahindra can contribute significantly to the electrification of India, a huge automotive market with ambitious climate protection commitments," Volkswagen Group Board of Management Member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, Thomas Schmall said.
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