Mahindra & Mahindra, which is bullish on growth at its electric mobility arm, Mahindra Electric, and is also readying to launch its eKUV100 SUV in early 2020, has broken ground on a new EV powertrain plant in Chakan.
Company MD Pawan Goenka confirmed a Rs 200 crore investment in the new facility, which will manufacture key components for an EV powertrain, such as the EV battery, motor, transmission and power electronics. With capacity to produce 50,000 EVs per annum, the plant is part of the Rs 900 crore investment announced last year to expand its overall manufacturing capacity, both at the Bengaluru and Chakan plants.
The Chakan EV powertrain facility will be the second one for Mahindra Electric after the Bengaluru unit, which went on stream last November. “Mahindra Electric will become the first company to manufacture internal permanent magnet (IPM) motors for EVs in India, a reflection of our commitment to Make in India,” Dr Goenka said then.
In FY2019, total EV sales in India crossed the 7,50,000-unit mark to reach 7,59,600 units. This includes electric two-wheelers (1,26,000), electric three-wheelers (6,30,000) and electric passenger vehicles (3,600), which translates into electric two-wheelers witnessing triple-digit growth (130 percent) year on year.
Mahindra is also investing Rs 1,500 crore in a brand-new press shop, weld shop, paint shop and assembly line for its regular operations. Dr Goenka tweeted: “When most companies are shying away from capacity investment, Mahindra is getting ready with Chakan Phase II Rs 1,500 crore investment in a brand new Press shop, weld shop, paint shop, assembly line.”
That’s not all. The company is also setting up a 2,500-seat office building, which is coming up near the Chakan plant.
Seeing tomorrow today
The move to set up a new EV powertrain plant is indicative of the fact that M&M and Mahindra Electric are prepping up for future demand. In FY2019, Mahindra Electric doubled its sales to 10,276 units, from 4,026 units in FY2018, as a result of its focused efforts to sell its e2O to fleet operators and three-wheelers to last-mile operators. The company has also begun supplying EVs to state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) for the second phase of a combined 10,000 units order.
As per a PTI report, Mahesh Babu, CEO, Mahindra Electric, said: “Last year we have more than doubled (sales). The growth rate will not be lower than what achieved last year. I don’t see it falling this year.”
In December 2018, Mahindra Electric Mobility inked an MoU with SmartE, an EV owner-aggregator operating in Delhi-NCR for deploying EVs for last-mile connectivity in India. As per the MoU, the company plans to deploy a total of 10,000 Mahindra electric three-wheelers across the country by 2020.
Meanwhile, on June 4, 2019, Mahindra Electric tied up with Blu Smart Mobility to induct 70 Mahindra eVerito sedans in the latter’s fleet across the Delhi-NCR region, including Gurgaon, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad. Blu Smart Mobility also plans to add 500 eVeritos in its fleet by April 2020, as the company plans expansion to other cities including Mumbai and Pune.
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