Mahindra & Mahindra, which was among the first to get into electric vehicles (EVs), has not produced a single four-wheel EV so far this year. The Mumbai-based company has made the maximum investments, of around Rs 1,000 crore, in the EV space, compared to any other company in India.
As per production data shared by the company, the only electric sedan sold by M&M, the eVerito, has not rolled out of production lines since December 2020.
The other four-wheel EV, the Supro van, has also not been produced since the last few months. M&M pulled out the e20 in 2019 itself, a model which was based on India’s first electric car Reva.
At present, M&M has only one EV 4W in its stable -- the eVerito. The eKUV100 and the EXUV300 are in the pipeline. The first EV produced by M&M was the e20 in 2013.
M&M presently manufactures only the electric three-wheeler Alfa and Treo. The company is the market leader in the electric three-wheeler category from the organised space.
Tatas maintain the lead
M&M’s lacklustre performance in the EV segment comes at a time when rival Tata Motors stretched its lead over everybody else, managing to grab more than 50 percent market share of the electric car segment.
Tata Motors’ electric Nexon is India’s highest selling electric passenger vehicle. The battery-powered SUV has clocked cumulative sales of 4,219 units since its launch in January 2020. Tata Motors also sells the electric version of the Tigor compact sedan.
While the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) is yet to publish sales data for FY21, the electric four-wheelers volumes are estimated to have crossed sales of 4,000 units. This would be a growth of more than 18 percent compared to sales of 3,400 units clocked in FY20.
MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona, Mercedes-Benz EQC and the Jaguar I-Pace are some of the other EV cars on sale in India.
M&M’s eKUV 100 yet to hit showroom
Officially launched at the India Auto Expo in February 2020, the Mahindra eKUV 100 is yet to make it to M&M showrooms, despite a delay of more than a year. Deliveries of the mini electric SUV priced at Rs 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) was slated to commence in April 2020.
A senior executive of M&M said that the eKUV 100 will hit the markets this year while the eVerito is now produced only against confirmed orders.
Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto and Farm Sectors, M&M, said: “eVerito is made to order and if any customer wishes, an order can be placed at our dealership. Both eKUV 100 and the eXUV 300 will be in the market between 2021 and 2022”.
After the launch of the eXUV 300, M&M has set its sights on the ‘born electric’ model (platform) which will debut anywhere between 2024 to 2026. The advantage of this platform, according to M&M, is that it is being designed and developed as an electric model from scratch unlike the petrol/diesel models of today which are converted to an EV.
“What we are working on at this point in time is the ‘born electric’ platform. This will take 3-5 years before it is introduced in India. We have a very good set of electric capabilities from what we have done in India as well as internationally,” Jejurikar added.
M&M claims that it could benefit from the 10-year-long existence in the EV space. Its electric cars, M&M claims, have clocked 270 million km in India.
“So, the data that comes from it, the ability to understand batteries, to be able to manage batteries, which is a very critical part and is a very strong capability that we have. We are using this capability along with capabilities we have built for born electric platforms and this will position us much better in the future”, Jejurikar added.
In the next three years, M&M has committed Rs 3,000 crore investment in the overall EV space.