Explained: Mahindra's Electric Car Plans Up To 2026
Modified On Sep 09, 2021 07:09 PM By Sonny
Mahindra is bullish on an EV future, promising to launch one EV every year until 2026. Here’s what makes the homegrown carmaker so confident
Mahindra confirmed electric variants for all new monocoque SUVs.
Electric XUV300 to launch in 2022 while XUV700 is slated to get an EV variant by 2023.
Two new standalone battery electric vehicles are also slated to launch by 2026.
Unspecified SUVs, W620 and V201, will also be offered with pure electric powertrain options.
Body-on-frame models such as the 2022 Scorpio and even the next-gen Bolero could get new mild-hybrid tech but will not become pure EVs anytime soon.
Mahindra confirmed details of its electrified future as part of its product plan for the following five-to-six years. From new battery-powered electric vehicles built on dedicated platforms to all-electric versions of their SUVs, we can expect up to six EV offerings from Mahindra by 2026.
What’s Mahindra working on?
Mahindra intends to debut its first dedicated BEV by 2025, with another one to follow soon after. These would be underpinned by a new scalable platform to spawn a variety of EV models. The latest generation of monocoque SUVs, usually with the “XUV” moniker, have been developed to be EV compatible. The five models confirmed for electrification are: XUV300 sub-4m SUV, XUV700 mid-size SUV, and two unspecified models known by the codenames W620 and V201. Sources have confirmed that Mahindra will not be reusing existing nameplates for the unnamed models, but will be part of the XUV family as a monocoque offerings. The carmaker has already registered a host of XUV-based names like the XUV400 and XUV900.
What comes first? The expected.
Based on information from sources within the company, it appears that Mahindra aims to launch one EV variant of its combustion-engined models per year. The first one, not actually mentioned in the model plan lineup, would be the launch of the eKUV100 in the private vehicle space. It was launched for the commercial sector at the 2020 Auto Expo, priced at Rs 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom) with a claimed range of just 147km.
In a statement regarding Mahindra’s EV plans, Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director (Auto and Farm sectors), mentioned that “both eKUV100 and the eXUV300 will be in the market between 2021 and 2022.”
The current-gen XUV300 was already confirmed to be EV-ready at its launch in 2019. There was even a pre-production electric concept showcased at Auto Expo 2020 but without details regarding its battery or electric motors. Originally scheduled to launch in 2021, it too has been delayed by the pandemic and will be launched in 2022, according to sources in the know. The e-XUV300 will be a direct rival to India’s best selling EV, the Tata Nexon EV. It is expected to offer similar performance and an ARAI certified range between 300km and 350km.
Mahindra unveiled the XUV700 as the successor of the current XUV500 and will offer it in both five- and seven-seater configurations. An electric version of the same will potentially be the first seven-seater electric SUV offered in India. Its size should also be able to accommodate the MESMA (Mahindra Electric Scalable Modular Architecture) 650 architecture for a range of more than 500km from an 80kWh battery pack. That’s more than double the battery size of the Hyundai Kona Electric and on par with luxury EVs like the Mercedes-Benz EQC.
The all-electric version of the XUV700 is slated to be launched by 2023. The XUV700 packs a range of segment-first features so expect the electric version to shake up the mass-market EV space as well.
Electric at the top end as well
The W620 is suspected to be a replacement for the Alturas G4 as Mahindra’s full-size premium SUV offering. Its production-spec iteration could be called the XUV900. This model is expected to debut by 2024, and it could be the first in its segment to offer a fully-electric variant in India. This Mahindra EV could even be equipped with dual electric motors, one at each axle, for AWD capabilities and up to 380PS of performance. It is likely to share the same MESMA 650 architecture as the XUV700.
Surprise! An electric Creta rival?
The V201 could be a bit of a wildcard from Mahindra as a model that may introduce the brand into a new segment. It will fit somewhere between the XUV300 and XUV700 in the lineup and is expected to be launched after the W620. An electric version of the V201 would likely be on par with the likes of the MG ZS EV in terms of comfort, performance, and range (over 400km).
When it comes to new EVs built on dedicated platforms, Mahindra believes it will take between three to five years to introduce such models in India. The first one, as per the overall product plan shared, is due to arrive in 2025. While there are no details on this “born EV” offering yet, we can be certain that it will be some shape of utility vehicle only, as stated under Mahindra’s new logo and identity.
New Mahindra EVs, starting from the electric XUV700, are expected to offer DC fast charging capabilities of up to 150kW. That is usually sufficient to charge most EV battery packs from 15 per cent to 80 percent in less than an hour. The MESMA-based models should be capable of adding up to 100km of range from 10 minutes of fast-charging. However, the carmaker has not shared any technical specifications for its upcoming electric offerings.
EVs beyond personal mobility
It is important to note that Mahindra’s electrification plans go beyond their passenger cars and into lightweight commercial vehicles and last-mile delivery solutions. According to the carmaker, last-mile mobility is the first phase of its EV strategy and it is already here. “The cost of ownership is at parity today. The range anxiety is really gone because it allows for the range that people want and it's very easy to charge. We will start seeing a much greater movement to electric from the conventional engines in the last mile mobility” said Mr. Jejurikar.
Electrified, but not electric yet
Meanwhile, the rugged Mahindra models such as the new-gen Scorpio and Bolero are not going electric anytime soon, but could feature electrification in the form of mild-hybrid technology for increased fuel efficiency. Even the Thar and its upcoming five-door iteration could benefit from a mild-hybrid powertrain. Using a 48V hybrid architecture with a combustion engine is a popular and effective type of mild-hybridisation and it is expected on electrified Mahindra models too.
The price push
One of the hurdles for EV adoption is the relatively high pricing compared to petrol/diesel/CNG vehicles. Mahindra has proven that it can afford aggressive pricing in order to make its products more attainable, as proven recently by the introductory pricing range for the XUV700. A similar approach can be expected for its upcoming EVs, especially the latter ones as input costs for EVs will reduce further over time.
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