Mahindra and Mahindra, essentially a manufacturer of diesel engine utility vehicles, would offer petrol engine variants of its entire product range by April 2020, when BS VI emission norms kicks in the country, managing director Pawan Goenka said on Tuesday. He also said that the company would launch electric variants of all its vehicles in the coming years — the first would be an electric variant of its compact SUV, the KUV 100, which it would launch by the end of 2018.
Goenka was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of an updated version of the KUV100, priced at Rs 4.39-7.33 lakh.
Currently, M&M has a petrol variant of the KUV 100.
“We are working on a very strong petrol engine line-up and by the time BS VI emission norms roll out, our petrol engine offering will be as strong as diesel,” Goenka said. “Whether all of those get launched in India or not depends on the customer pull. Most likely, all our exports will definitely have petrol-powered vehicles. We would be happy to launch in the domestic market even if we have 5% demand,” he added.
On electric vehicles, he said, “Whether we will have 20% or 100% EVs on the roads by 2030 is a multi-billion dollar question but we have decided that for all our cross-overs and SUVs, we will work on an electric vehicle in the future”.
M&M currently has four models in the electric vehicle space, the e2o hatchback, eVerito sedan, eSupro van and the recently-launched three-wheeler eAlfa. It currently has a 500 units annual capacity for electric vehicles, which it plans to expand to 5,000 units by 2019.
The company has, since the acquisition of the Reva brand, invested more than `500 crore in the electric vehicles segment.
On various other disruptions unfolding in the automotive segment, Goenka said the company is learning about driverless technology from its tractor business. “We hope the learning we have from there some day would allow us to replicate in the automotive business,” he said.
The company is going to perfect the driverless technology in tractors first and sometime in future, it could be applied in automotives. We will be launching the first phase of driverless technology before the end of this financial year,” Goenka.
Terming the current phase as one of the toughest for the Indian automotive sector, Goenka made the point that lack of clarity on various issues is forcing manufacturers to work on multiple directions.
“We are planning for multiple scenarios and are not sure on where major thrust of investment should go. So, if you look at hybrid technology — if it’s dead or will it come back, that is also not clear,” he noted. There is also no clarity on how the electric segment would pan out in future, he pointed out. “So, I am saying you need to plan for everything,” Goenka remarked.