Mahindra & Mahindra seeks collaboration to localise EV tech

by Sumantra B Barooah 07 Sep 2017

Mahindra Electric, India's sole electric vehicle (EV) OEM, could set up a joint venture (JV) or have a licence arrangement with another company, mainly for batteries for EVs. This would be mainly to reduce the cost of making an EV and garner critical mass. The battery pack in an EV accounts for 40-50 percent of the vehicle's cost.

"Our intent is to localise everything," says Dr Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra and chairman, Mahindra Electric. The company says that the onus is on OEMs now to build the market for EVs in India. The central government has laid down a roadmap in favour of electric mobility. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Ayog, says, "We must make India a centre for EV exports." In his presentation at the 57th annual convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), he said that the EV market in India could reach a size of 14 million units by 2030 and 30.81 million units by 2040.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the SIAM convention in New Delhi today, Dr Goenka said that "the era of EVs has arrived" and he expects that the current subsidy regime remains undisturbed for 4-5 years. A strong proponent of electric mobility, Dr Goenka says that government subsidy for another five years should be good enough for the EV industry to become sustainable on its own. He, however, expects some more effort from the government. "More effort to set up charging infrastructure. There should be concessional rate for charging EV, and the government should use EVs," says Dr Goenka. 

Mahindra Electric is betting on shared mobility as the biggest driver for EVs in India. In the electric mobility pilot project in Nagpur, 54 of Mahindra EVs have clocked 600,000 kilometres in three months. 

Buoyed by the growing global trend and the strong bet of the government on electric mobility, Mahindra Electric, which sells around only 100 EVs a month, is expecting to finally reap big benefits. "If nothing happens in the next one year, then we can lose hope," says Dr Goenka. It doesn't look like the current indications will let down Dr Goenka and his fellow proponents of electric mobility.

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