Mahindra & Mahindra is in the final stages of developing its new electric car, likely to be called the E2O(e-two-oh). Expected to go on sale by November, the car will be powered by a 29KW(39.4bhp) electric motor and will use 48-volt compact lithium ion batteries. Earlier plans for launching a more affordable lead acid battery-equipped version, it seems, have been shelved for now. What Mahindra is planning to do however, in an effort to make ownership more affordable, is lease the batteries, thus making them a component of running costs. We expect the E2O to cost around Rs 5.5-6 lakh.
The E2O family is also likely to sprout other electric variants which will allow Mahindra to spread the cost of the platform. In an effort to keep costs in check, there is also likely to be sharing of parts from the Mahindra parts bin. The carmaker also says it is expecting to push the car through corporate sales.
Companies, especially environment-friendly ones, could lease a large number of cars, provide charging points for their employees and help maintain them as well. The E2O will also be the first Mahindra to come out of the recently inaugurated green plant at Bangalore. Pawan Goenka, president of the automotive division, said that investing in an electric car project makes financial sense. Manufacturing an electric vehicle is cheaper than making cars with internal combustion engines and the cost of building a plant with an annual capacity of 6,000 units is not as high as that of a conventional vehicles facility. M&M has invested Rs 2,500 crore in the electric vehicle plant so far.
What’s also essential for the viability of the project is support from the government. Makers of electric cars in the past received SOPs to the tune of Rs 1 lakh. The National Mission for Electric Mobility (NMEM) however, is expected to announce further benefits that could deliver a substantial benefit to makers of electric cars.
Issue: 166 | June 2013
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