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Last Updated : Nov 19, 2019 12:49 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

M&M’s electric SUV launches face year-long delay; eXUV300 launch pushed to FY22

M&M has rescheduled the launch of the electric version of the mini sports utility vehicle KUV 100 to the January-March quarter of this year

(Image Source: Mahindra)
(Image Source: Mahindra)
 
 
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Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has delayed the launch of its electric vehicles (EVs) by more than a year as it tackles a prolonged slowdown in the sector and urgently shifts most of its product portfolio to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI).

The deadline to meet the new emission norms is April 1, 2020.

The auto major has rescheduled the launch of the electric version of the mini sports utility vehicle KUV 100 to the January-March quarter of this fiscal from its earlier schedule of around June. The management hopes to price the electric KUV at under Rs 10 lakh.

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Likewise, an electric version of the XUV300 will now hit showrooms in Q1 or Q2 of FY22. This SUV, whose petrol and diesel versions were launched in February, was supposed to have the electric version launched in Q1 FY21.

"We have an EV portfolio coming up comprising the electric KUV which will be launched in Q4 FY20. Later we have the electric XUV300 which will be launched sometime probably in the first or second quarter of FY22," M&M Managing Director Pawan Goenka told analysts after announcing the company's Q2 earnings.

The electric XUV 300 will most likely have a new powertrain system comprising a 380-volt system having a 150 kW battery with a driving range of 250 km on a full charge. This will compete head-on with the Tata Motors Nexon (drive range of around 300kms) which is ready to hit showrooms in the January-March quarter this year.

The re-schedule of these launches will allow M&M to channel its focus on the BS-VI transition. The company is moving away from vehicles powered by small diesel engines (less than 1.5 litres), which will become considerably more expensive post the transition.

In several interviews, Goenka had underlined the challenges posed by the BS-VI transition and the importance of managing it flawlessly. It does not help that the transition is happening amidst one of the worst slowdowns faced by the Indian auto sector.

Last-mile connector

M&M also wants to launch a new concept in the last mile connectivity segment which is non-existent at present. This could either be a mini truck or a mini passenger carrier. The company has on sale the electric versions of the Supro in cargo and van formats.

Rival Tata Motors had developed an electric version of the Ace mini truck a few years ago. It even showcased the electric version of the Magic Iris, a compact people carrier, at the Auto Expo. However, the company has refrained from launching any of this.

"We have what we call internally C100, which is a last-mile connectivity EV. This concept is different from anything which exists today and will launch somewhere around Q2 or Q3 of FY21," Goenka added.

M&M had also announced an electric but a different version of the Ford Aspire sedan. Since the existing Aspire will be too expensive to convert to electric, both companies are working on a new solution. Though the project is yet to get a formal approval the vehicle will be ready only in FY22.

M&M showcased a new vehicle architecture called MESMA (Mahindra Electric Scalable Modular Architecture) at the 2018 Auto Expo. This modular architecture comprising lithium-ion battery pack strapped to the floor has an effective driving range of more than 390 km on a full charge.

The first of its kind EV technology manufacturing facility in Karnataka was set up by M&M at a cost of Rs 100 crore last year. The facility manufactures battery packs, power electronics and motor assembly. M&M had planned to raise plant capacity from 5,000 to 25,000 units per annum by 2020.

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First Published on Nov 19, 2019 12:48 pm
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