Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) officially announced at a media conference today that it will launch the all-electric version of the XUV300 in “the first quarter of 2023”. The unveiling of Mahindra’s first high-voltage SUV is likely to be earlier, sometime in the second-half of this year, with the aim of a market launch by January 2023.
Sources say that the production version of the electric XUV300 could be renamed the XUV400, which we had reported earlier. The company feels that there will be enough of a distinction between the ICE XUV300 and its EV version to justify a new name. In fact, apart from the powertrain, the other big difference between the variants is the length.
Mahindra has also confirmed that the electric version “will be 4.2-metre long”, which is a good 200mm more than the standard XUV300 that’s constrained by a sub-4m length to avail of tax benefits. Given that EVs already enjoy a lower duty structure and, unlike ICE cars, are not penalised for length, Mahindra will use the body structure of the longer SsangYong Tivoli on which the XUV300 is based to offer more boot space, something that is quite limited on the XUV300.
Battery is the key
Powertrain and battery details are sparse at the moment, however, we can confirm that the single motor which drives the front wheels will have a minimum output 150hp and will be fed by high-density NMC pouch cells. This would give the electric XUV300 a slight leg up in the power stakes over the recently launched Tata Nexon EV Max, which develops 143hp. Using high-density NMC cells will also likely give the electric XUV300 a longer range than the Nexon EV Max, which uses lower power density cylindrical LFP cells.
The big challenge for Mahindra, however, is to secure a steady supply of batteries for the XUV400, which will come from LG Chem. The South Korean battery maker has been unable to ramp up volumes for the batteries specifically developed for XUV400, a prime reason for the late launch. Mahindra showcased an electric XUV300 concept at the 2020 Auto Expo, a good three years before the production version will finally arrive.
The XUV400 will play a key role in establishing Mahindra as a credible EV player and is expected to come with the latest connected tech and ADAS features, which will trickle down from the super successful XUV700.
Mahindra’s electric plans
Mahindra had a very early start with EVs and was a pioneer of sorts with the acquisition of the Reva car company. However, the eVerito failed to make a mark with its very limited performance and the e2O was discontinued with the implementation of the stricter crash norms.
The Indian SUV specialist is thus keen to up its EV pace and make up for the loss of its first mover advantage. Last year, Mahindra announced plans to launch as many as eight passenger EVs by 2027, which would also include new ‘born electric’ SUVs. Earlier this month, the company also announced its intention to explore a partnership with VW for the use of the German automaker’s tried and tested batteries and other EV components.
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