Mahindra is all set to bring out its new compact SUV, the XUV300, in February 2019. While the company is likely to introduce this SUV in two engine options –turbocharged petrol and diesel motors – an all-electric version (codename: S210) is in the works and will hit the showrooms in mid-2020.
This new model will be one of the first set of electric SUVs, if not be the first electric SUV by the company. M&M is currently developing a new set of high-powered electric powertrains. The S210 will be powered by two of them as there is a plan to offer at least two variants of the electric SUV. Dr Pawan Goenka, managing director, M&M, in a response to a query from our sister magazine Autocar Professional said, “We'll probably do two versions of it. One version will be more of an object of desire with higher kW/h, one version that will be more an object of mobility, perhaps more for commuting experience.”
The S210 will be the first product with battery cells developed exclusively for India applications by LG Chem, a leading Korean manufacturer of advanced batteries. M&M and LG Chem have an ongoing collaboration in the field of advanced lithium ion battery technology.
Under the collaboration, LG Chem will offer a unique cell solely for the Indian market and will also supply Li-ion cells based on NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) chemistry with high energy density. These cells will be used in electric vehicles from Mahindra and SsangYong. LG Chem will also design lithium ion battery modules for Mahindra Electric, which in turn will create battery packs for the Mahindra Group and other customers.
Mass scale electric mobility is not a reality in India yet, but M&M is making moves to be ready when the opportunity comes along.