Sports utility vehicle (SUV) market leader Mahindra & Mahindra and its subsidiary, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, are planning a series of vehicles, including new ones under the M&M brand.
In addition to extending the electric powertrain to the older diesel-run models sold under the M&M brand with the help of Mahindra Reva, the parent is also working on new vehicles running on electric motor.
At present, M&M, selling products with mild hybrid versions such as of the Scorpio and XUV500 SUVs, does not have any vehicle with a full electric powertrain. M&M and Mahindra Reva have joined hands to make such electric vehicles under the M&M brand.
Chetan Maini, founder and chief executive of the subsidiary, said, "We are packaging together all the technology we have developed for years so that this system can go into various Mahindra platforms."
"So, already the first two will come about shortly. We will see a two-pronged approach — there will be products from Mahindra's old range and then there will be products from Mahindra Reva. There will also be products from Mahindra, which from the beginning will be all-electric," Maini said.
Mahindra has been working on an all-electric Verito and Maxximo, which could be launched in the coming months. Verito is the underperforming sedan from Mahindra that is essentially a redesigned Renault Logan, while the Maxximo is the sub-two-tonne mini-truck on sale for three years.
The company is betting high on customers switching to electric cars in the long run owing to rising fuel costs. The company and its arm are developing products targeting not just the domestic market but global as well.
On Tuesday, Mahindra Reva announced a price reduction of up to Rs 1.7 lakh on the e2o, its only electric car on sale in India, to under Rs 5 lakh. This was done through an instalment scheme in which the pays only for the car upfront, not for the battery, which is also the vehicle's power plant. The battery ownership will rest with the company and the buyer will pay rent for it. The battery constitutes 30-40 per cent of the total cost, according to Maini.
Looking ahead Mahindra Reva hopes to commercially launch the Halo, an all-electric sports car, in the next three years. Though powered by a 100kw motor, more than five times powerful than the e2o, the Halo will likely be priced under Rs 20 lakh. The car, which claims top speed of 160 kmph and range of more than 200 km, races from 0 to 100 kmph in under eight seconds.
"Looking at the reactions we are actively considering its commercial production. There will be fff shoots such things into other aspects. Such cars have done well globally, have been the high performance products. This is a fun car that happens to be electric. We see Europe being a much larger market potential, we also see Indian market maturing where we see a lot of demand. This could be a good brand builder," added Maini.