Mahindra & Mahindra the only carmaker that sells electric cars in India on Wednesday said that it will have three new offerings in the space by 2019-20. "We will have three new products (in the EV or electric vehicle space) which will be high-performance ones," Mahindra Electric Mobility CEO (chief executive officer) Mahesh Babu said. He was speaking at a seminar on electric vehicles at the Norwegian Embassy in Delhi.
The three new cars will have top speeds of 186 kmph (kilometres per hour), 150 kmph and 190 kmph and will go from 0-100 kms in 9, 11, and 8 seconds respectively. The range for these cars would be 350 km, 250 km, and 300 km.
The announcement comes in the backdrop of the Indian government declaring that the country will only sell electric cars by 2030. "India surprisingly took a very bold step declaring what would happen by 2030... that changed the scenario in the last six months," Babu said while highlighting that the key challenge for the government lies in creating an EV ecosystem which includes a robust charging infrastructure.
Mahindra, which is otherwise popular for its range of SUVs (sports utility vehicles) currently has in its EV stable four vehicles-- the e2o (hatchback), eVerito (sedan), eSupro (mini-van) and eAlfa mini (rickshaw).
One the three new models that will roll out of the Mahindra factory in next couple of years will be the electric version of its compact SUV, the KUV100. Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra had revealed this in October. The other two new vehicles in the electric space will be from the SUV and crossover segments, according to a company source. In fact, in October Goenka had gone on to say that all future SUVs and crossovers from Mahindra will have an EV version.
On Wednesday, Babu said the company is also working at making charging faster. "What would take 1-1.5 hours earlier would now take about 40 mins," he said. For a full charge, the e2o currently takes about 5 hours.
Mahindra also believes that by 2020 battery costs will substantially come down, making it possible to offer electric cars at a cheaper price. Currently e-vehicles in India are expensive owing to the fact that lithium-ion batteries are costly and have to be imported. The e2o, for instance, starts at Rs 7.46 lakh (ex-showroom), which compared to a regular hatchback comes at quite a premium. "India is very sensitive to value for cost. We have been trying for the last seven years (to push e-mobility) but we have only achieved that much," Babu said stressing on the need for a "huge policy push" from the government's side.
Wednesday also marked the roll-out of the first batch of Tata Motors' Tigor EV. Tigor, like Mahindra's Verito is a compact sedan, however, it is not up for sale yet. The batch that rolled out of the company's Sanand Plant in Gujarat is against the government's order of electric vehicles for Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), an entity under the Ministry of Power.
Tata Motors won the tender of 10,000 electric cars floated by EESL in September 2017. For the first phase, Tata Motors is required to deliver 250 Tigor EVs.
India is one of the fastest growing car markets in the world, having clocked 3 million (petrol and diesel vehicles) in annual sales during the last fiscal. However, electric car sales in the country continue to be negligible compared to this.
Electrification of transportation will be high on the agenda of the Narendra Modi government in the days to come as India's cities choke on dangerous levels of air pollution. As the government pushes for electric mobility, companies like Mahindra are likely to have a first-mover advantage.
Source- The Times of India