Collaboration is increasingly seen as a good cost-effective strategy to enhance competitiveness in the marketplace. And Japanese OEM Nissan Motor Co and homegrown company Mahindra Reva could practice it in the coming years.
The collaboration, to which both companies are open, could be in the backend of the electric vehicle (EV) business and mainly in the area of charging infrastructure/technology. “Nissan is open to collaboration with other EV manufacturers in India, in particular for the charging network,” says Andy Palmer, chief planning officer and executive vice-president responsible for Zero Emission Vehicle Planning & Strategy, Nissan Motor Corporation, when asked if Nissan would be open for a tie-up with Mahindra Reva in the EV space and the reason/s for it, if it does so.
Nissan, which already has collaborations with Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda in Japan, sees collaboration as a good way to build the EV business. “Charging infrastructure is one of the two prime movers for success of EVs,” adds Palmer. The other ‘prime mover’ is government incentive.
Dr Pawan Goenka, executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra and chairman, Mahindra Reva, also echoes Palmer’s views on collaboration. In an exclusive interview with Autocar Professional, Dr Goenka says, “Yes, we are always open to talk to any OEM who wants to work with us and create the right kind of technology or infrastructure for electric vehicles. If Nissan is interested, we’ll be more than happy to talk to them.”
Mahindra Reva is the pioneer in electric vehicles in India but it has been facing stiff challenges in selling the expensive EVs due to the lack of any government support yet.
As of date, Mahindra Reva does not have partnership with any other OEM. A partnership model, in India and overseas, may be beneficial as it plans to grow from being a niche player to a mainstream one.
For Nissan, the multiple OEM partnership is being designed to offer financial support to installers of charging stations. By assisting installers with the part of their costs not covered by government subsidies, the four companies are aiming to promote wider availability of chargers to make electric vehicle use more convenient in Japan.
While both Nissan and Mahindra have expressed their willingness to Autocar Professional to discuss a partnership in the EV space, they are yet to hold any official talks. Bhutan, where both companies launched their first products within a span of a week in February, is also the first EV market where they will compete, at least in some segments.