Mahindra & Mahindra, home-grown utility vehicle and tractor maker, will launch the Genze electric scooter in the US by the middle of this year. This is the first two-wheeler launch in that country by the company.
A Mahindra outfit based at Palo Alto, California, had showcased the scooter at the Santa Monica Altcar Expo in September last year, to test the response. It is a single-seater and powered by a lithium-ion battery, with a seven-inch weatherproof touch screen as its instrument panel. It also has an under-seat cell phone and laptop charger. The Genze was conceived in Silicon Valley, and tested and assembled in the US. After its fruitless exit from the US market a few years earlier, when it had planned to commercially launch its newly developed range of pick-ups based on the Scorpio platform, this is considered M&M biggest comeback plan.
The company has been selling a range of tractors in the US market for several years. Though M&M has not disclosed pricing details of the Genze, local US reports state it could be priced at about $3,000 (Rs 1.8 lakh). The two-wheeler, to be built at Ann Arbor, Michigan, is expected to have a top speed of nearly 50 km an hour.
In India, despite rising oil prices, buyers have shown near-negligible interest in electric motor-driven vehicles, though these cost barely a sixth the expected price of the Genze. Mahindra’s own electric car, under the Reva co-brand, has failed to attract buyers, thanks to its high price. Less than feasible battery power has rendered electric bikes and cars impractical in India.