For Mahindra group, from whose stable electric luxury supercar Battista is being rolled out, the path to mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will be through fleet such as Ola, according to the group’s Chairman Anand Mahindra.
At present, EVs are out of reach of price sensitive buyers, specially in India, but the usage of such vehicles by fleet operators will help in achieving economies of scale in the industry and ultimately help in reaching personal mobility, Mahindra told PTI in an interview. Speaking at the sidelines of the 89th Geneva International Motor Show, he also said the group is also working on how to bring its GenZe electric scooters to India as it would be “too expensive” for the country currently.
“Right now the break even for electric cars applies more to cars that are used much more. The more you use the electric cars the better your payback,” he said.
Welcoming the Rs 10,000 crore FAME-II scheme under which four-wheeler electric vehicles will get subsidy only for fleet operators and commercial purposes, Mahindra said, “What the government has done is spot on.” He, however, added, “Whether the government had done it or not we had decided to focus on fleet anyway.” When fleets start using EVs, economies of scale is created in the industry as the cost of these vehicles come down when more people buy them, he said. Moreover, when people start using these cars seeing firms like Uber, Ola using it, people get accustomed to it and thus helping in popularisation of EVs, Mahindra added.
“Fleets are the best way to familiarise people to speed up adoption. So in some point, if see all these charts converge that’s the time that people will start using it for personal mobility. Mahindra will be ready (for it) with some options which are both affordable and exciting,” he said.
In the past, Mahindra had tied up with app-based cab aggregator Ola in partnership with the Indian government to build India's first electric mass mobility ecosystem in Nagpur. When asked about the group’s electric two-wheeler programme, Mahindra said, “We make GenZe e-scooters overseas (in the US). It is too expensive for India but we have some thoughts.”
He further said, “The e-scooters will come to Europe first. So GenZe may even be marketed by under Peugeot which we own in Europe. So the question is how to bring it to India, we are working on it." Bullish on the segment, Mahindra said, "Electric two-wheelers are going to be a big movement, shared fleets as well as personal mobility...the biggest trend in the world is going to be kick scooters, next biggest trend is e-bikes and e-scooters."