To develop its Bengaluru based facility into a hub for manufacturing electric vehicles, Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd – a subsidiary of conglomerate Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd – is in talks with other manufacturers of electric vehicles for the supply of parts like electric powertrains and others. The move by the company comes on the back of the union government’s focus on domestic manufacturing of electric vehicles and it related components under the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) scheme.
In the last financial year, Mahindra and Mahindra announced investment to the tune of ₹1000 crore in Karnataka to develop a facility for manufacturing electric vehicles.
According to Mahesh Babu, chief executive, Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd, the company is in talks to some of the global partners and the company’s aim is to make India a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles.
“Mahindra is investing in aggregates like an electric motor, battery pack, motor transmission and power dynamics required for developing an electric vehicle. Since the industry is in a very nascent stage Mahindra will supply these parts to other manufacturers as well. We are now gearing up to supply electric powertrains to Ssangyong. The supply will start by early 2020," added Babu.
At present, Mahindra Electric is the only automobile manufacturing company to offer both its electric three and four-wheelers to different fleet aggregators.
The union government also wants manufacturers to gradually develop manufacturing capacities for developing electric vehicles to avail the subsidies under the Fame 2 scheme.
“We cannot use government money to subsidize imports. We want to make an India a manufacturing hub a ₹10000 crore has been sanctioned by the government for this purpose. We want to promote electric two and three wheelers and the cities (STUs) should also make use of the subsidies to use electric buses and clean the environment," said Amitabh Kant, Niti Aayog, chief executive, Niti Aayog on the sidelines of a press conference conducted by Mahindra Electric and Blu Smart Mobility.
As the union government is trying to push electric vehicles in public transport, Mahindra is collaborating with different fleet aggregators to supply its vehicles. In one such move, the company has decided to collaborate with fleet aggregator Blu Smart Mobility wherein 1500 electric vehicles of Mahindra Electric will be available on the platform by next year.
Mahindra has already announced its collaboration with South Korean lithium-ion battery manufacturing company LG Chem Ltd for manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles in India and this will also help the company increase the localization of batteries – most valuable part of an electric vehicle- in its products in the electric segment.
“L G Chem will supply us the cells and with their collaboration, we will set up the manufacturing facility for converting the cells to modules and then to battery packs. The plant will be set up in Chakhan and Mahindra will own the IPR (intellectual property rights)," added Babu.
“If you don’t do this module and packing now, then 100% of the value comes from abroad and when your import cells it is close to 65-70%. The remaining 30-35% will be a local value add and that will be a cost saving," he said.