Mahindra Electric's new CTO Martin Murray bets on affordable EV solution in India

by Nilesh Wadhwa 17 Dec 2019


Mahindra Electric, the country's leading electric vehicle manufacturer, is aggressively looking to make green mobility a reality in India. At present, the company sells electric three- and four-wheelers  and is working on a wide array of products to make India a leading EV hub.

Last week, Mahindra Electric announced that Martin Murray who has worked with General Motors for over 30 years, as its new chief technology officer (CTO). In his new role he is responsible for product engineering, project engineering, mobility solutions and program management, and will report to Mahesh Babu, CEO, Mahindra Electric.

In his first public address in his new role, Murray today shared his thoughts on the global electrification story. Speaking at iTEC India 2019, Bangalore, he spoke on how the EV story in the United State and Europe is being led by Tesla.

On the other hand in China, the world's largest electric vehicle market, the EV market share increased despite the ongoing automotive slowdown and the government reducing its EV industry subsidies. He said, "It will be interesting to see if the reduction in subsidy will impact EV sales."

Referring to EV battery cost, Murray said that global studies point out that "Tesla hasn't solved the battery cost problem. And the electric propulsion system still accounts for 25 percent of the ICE vehicle cost as per a USB study."

He acknowledged that Tesla has made EVs exciting and interesting. For India, where overall automotive sales are dominated by two- and three-wheelers, Murray said, "India cannot just take cues from the global market. The Indian EV story is unique and not the same as in the US, Europe or China."

Makes a strong case for affordable solutions 
The Mahindra Electric CTO believes that for EV growth to happen in India, there is a strong case for affordable solutions like the 48V system and 72V system that will help propel growth. "Electric three-wheelers will lead the EV adoption, followed by two-wheelers and electric buses. Mahindra Electric's vision is to take affordable mobility to the masses. We are going to make solutions for electric mobility in India for the world. It's all about battery in electrification. We cannot have strong penetration towards EVs with high battery costs. Affordability will be the key," said Murray.

Earlier today, in a tweet Dr. Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra, welcomed Murray in his new role and reiterated the company's goal. Dr. Goenka said "Delighted to welcome Martin to Mahindra family at a very critical time of EV technology growth. Martin’s 30 yrs of experience will allow us to offer global tech at India prices."

Mahindra Electric, which launched its Treo range of electric three-wheelers in 2018, is seeing strong traction for this product.

In a recent interaction Mahesh Babu had said, "With an experience of over 170 million electric kilometres, we have understood the economics of EVs better, given the low cost of operations. Going forward, Mahindra will launch three new electric vehicles in the next 18-20 months which will include the eKUV, S210 and an electric sedan. The focus will remain on catering to fleet operators in various shared mobility platforms which is in line with the government's FAME scheme." 

Mahindra Electric, in addition to its 48V and 72V systems, has for the first time showcased its production-ready 350V system (pictured above) at the ongoing iTEC India exhibition.

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