Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the Indian multinational automotive manufacturer, has unveiled 5 electric Sports Utility Vehicles which were designed in the UK, in a move to expedite its lagging shift to battery-powered cars in India.
Conceptualized at Mahindra Advanced Design Europe in the UK, the new SUVs will be sold under two brand names – BE and XUV, the automaker revealed in a video presentation on Monday.
In India’s nascent electric car market, Mahindra must produce a range of clean vehicles if it has to break the dominance of its rival Tata Motors Ltd. Mahindra, which is a local leader in the electric three-wheeler segment, currently only sells one electric car – the e-Verito. Even after having a first-mover advantage with its purchase of an Indian electric carmaker in 2010, Mahindra has struggled to make progress in the electric car segment.
Sparse charging infrastructure and the high upfront cost of battery-powered cars have been the main reasons why India has fallen behind some other major countries like China in its adoption of electric vehicles. Being the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, decarbonizing transport is essential for India if it has to meet its goal of becoming net zero carbon by 2070.
Mahindra’s first e-SUV will be launched by the end of 2024 in the Indian market, while three others are estimated to be out by 2026, according to a statement made by the company.
Mahindra’s wholly owned EV unit was valued at $ 9.1 billion when British International Investment Plc invested USD 250 million in it about a month ago. Mahindra’s Executive Director Rajesh Jejurikar is expecting up to 30% of Mahindra’s SUV portfolio to be electric by 2027, with a launch of 8 e-SUVs by then.
On the same day, as an indication of how crowded the EV market is getting, Bhavish Aggarwal’s start-up Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd. announced its plans to launch its first electric car in mid-2024, with a price of less than USD 50,000 for the Indian market.