Mahindra is set to focus on the electric passenger space in the coming years. The company has revealed plans to launch five new electric SUVs in India by 2027 with four based on a dedicated battery electric platform- termed as the company’s Born Electric range. Earlier in the year, the company announced that it had entered into a partnering agreement with European auto firm Volkswagen to evaluate the use of the latter’s MEB platform components for use by Mahindra. The two companies though are yet to sign any binding supply agreement that could see the Indian SUV maker source components from VW.
Mahindra though, is positive that the two companies will reach a binding agreement soon.
Speaking on the sidelines of the company’s new EV subsidy announcement Anish Shah, Managing Director and CEO of Mahindra and Mahindra said, “So Volkswagen is moving forward as planned. That’s what we announced which is partnership for batteries, for motors etc. So that part is moving forward.”
Shah also confirmed that the company’s born electric range would use components from VW.
Mahindra is set to reveal more details on its Born Electric range on August 15
Also see: Mahindra To Set Up New EV Subsidiary, Raises Rs 1,925 Crore Investment From British International Investment
Aside from VW, Mahindra is also in talks with other firms as well for its EVs. Answering a question during the press conference Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director – Auto & Farm, Mahindra and Mahindra saying that the company was in conversation with VW and “and maybe a few others.” And the company would see “how that plays out by ways of plans to localise”. Jejurikar also emphasised that partnerships were the way forward for Mahindra in this aspect and that it wasn’t something the company was going to do on it own.
Interestingly while many manufacturers have branched out to improve EV charging infrastructure alongside launching EVs, Mahindra says that it had no plans to currently invest in EV infrastructure.
In answer to a question at the EV strategic investment announcement, Jejurikar said the company had no plans to invest in battery charging infrastructure.
“Enough people at least at this point of time were going to do that and we believe that there will be a strong charging infrastructure that will be created in the next two to three years,” Jejurikar said.
While Mahindra said it currently had no plans to invest in battery charging infrastructure, its investment partner in the new electric vehicle subsidiary British International Investment (BII) said it was open to investing in other parts of the value chain of India’s EV landscape.
Also read: Mahindra To Put Greater Focus On Electric Vehicles
In answer to a question on the company’s investment plans in India, Samir Abhyankar, Managing Director, Head of Direct Private Equity, BII said, “I think the EV value chain from end to end is going to need a lot more capital over the next five, ten years. So we will continue to look at other places, other spaces within the EV value chain as well whether it is auto components or battery recycling or things that we think can support the development of the overall sector.”
The UK-based development finance institution is set to invest up to Rs 1,925 crore in Mahindra’s upcoming new EV subsidiary in two stages as well as help the company secure further capital in the future. While Mahindra itself is set to also invest Rs 1,925 crore in the project, the two companies are set to partner to secure additional capital in the future with plans in place to secure a further Rs, 8,000 crore by FY2027. BII will hold up to a 4.76% share in Mahindra’s new subsidiary.