Mahindra shifts priority to electric rickshaws; firm's CEO says e-three-wheelers make economic sense

India's leading electric car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra will focus more on electric three-wheelers considering its wide-range acceptability and affordability in the domestic market.

"Our love is towards electric vehicles (EVs), not cars alone. Slowly, one by one we will get products on EVs but of course the priority is three-wheelers," Mahesh Babu, chief executive officer, Mahindra Electric Mobility, was quoted as saying by The Financial Express.

The company is making cars for fleets and has now moved into three-wheelers — used to ferry people over short distances — as "it can penetrate easily and makes economic sense," the Financial Express reported on Wednesday quoting Babu.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

India is home to about 1.5 million battery-powered, three-wheeled rickshaws – a fleet bigger than the total number of electric passenger cars sold in China since 2011, said a report in Mint.

Earlier this month, Mahindra Electric Mobility, part of Mahindra Group, and SmartE, India’s largest electric vehicle fleet operator, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive electric mobility forward in India.

Under the MoU, SmartE will introduce the first 1,000 Mahindra Treo and Treo Yaari electric three-wheelers in Delhi-NCR by March 2019. The company also plans to deploy a total of 10,000 Mahindra electric three-wheelers across the country by 2020.

In November this year, Mahindra Electric Mobility had opened its electric technology manufacturing hub set up with an investment of Rs 100 crore in Bengaluru.

The company said, with the new facility, its manufacturing capacity will increase to 25,000 units per annum.

Branded under the umbrella of +ME technologies, the facility will manufacture battery packs, power electronics and motor assembly which are an integral part of an electric powertrain, the company said in a statement

"The plant uses global standards of manufacturing processes and will increase the manufacturing of Mahindra Electric to 25,000 units per annum," it said, adding that the facility would create additional direct employment of around 200 people

Mahindra and Mahindra Managing Director and Chairman of Mahindra Electric Pawan Goenka said, "The manufacturing hub is the next step by Mahindra in the electric technology space to increase local value addition and bring affordable electric vehicle (EV) technology to redefine mobility in India."

The firm also launched its first lithium-ion electric three-wheeler range Treo and Treo Yaari with starting price of Rs 1.36 lakh ex-showroom Bengaluru.

Goenka said the Treo range is the first Li-ion 3-wheeler auto developed in India

The Treo range uses Mahindra Electric's homegrown powertrain and Lithium-ion battery

The variants include Treo electric auto and Treo Yaari electric rickshaw, both available in hardtop weatherproof variants, the company said

Babu had then said that the company was aiming to bring about a "monumental change in the way India moves by enabling more EV products on the road through our +ME technology solutions"

The company has now invested in technologies that are core to EVs and have set up manufacturing of battery packs, motors, power electronics in the new facility at Bengaluru

"The government of Karnataka has been extremely supportive of this initiative," he added.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2018 15:15:01 IST

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