Mahindra & Mahindra recently announced that Shell would be their new sponsor as Mahindra Racing's Formula E team gears up for the upcoming E-Prix with a new race car and new drivers as well. On the sidelines of the unveiling of the new M5Electra Formula E race car, Mahindra and Shell also said that the two would work together to develop fluids and lubricants for electric vehicles. Mahindra Racing announced it two new drivers for the upcoming season of Formula E championship - Jérôme d’Ambrosio & Pascal Wehrlein
Jérôme d'Ambrosio has done all past four seasons of Formula E and has two wins and seven podiums to his name. The 27-year-old German race car driver Pascal raced the in Formula 3 Euro Series where he finished second in overall standings. In 2014, he became the youngest driver ever to secure a race win at Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM). Like Jerome, Pascal too brings experience from Formula 1 to the Mahindra Racing team.
Mahindra MD and Mahindra Racing Chairman, Pawan Goenka walked us through Mahindra's progress in electric vehicles before the unveiling of the new Formula E car in India. He mentioned the Bijli which was introduced in 1999, which was an all-electric three-wheeler with swappable batteries. Eventually, due to lack of charging infrastructure and awareness of electric mobility, Bijli was discontinued.
Then came Mahindra's acquisition of Reva in 2010, from which the e2o and e2o Plus were born. Mahindra-owned Pininfarina just recently unveiled the PF0 electric hypercar concept. Mahindra, Goenka said, would be the only car manufacturer in the world with a $3000 electric three-wheeler and an EUR 2 million electric hypercar (that packs 2000 hp!)
Mahindra & Mahindra announced last month that the company would be investing Rs 1000 crore in Karnataka to build a manufacturing and development plant for electric vehicles. Mahindra will be introducing its first electric SUV in India in the next financial year 2019-20.
As Shell emphasised that it has prolonged experience in bringing trackside development to the end consumer. So, the collaboration between Mahindra Racing and Shell should prove beneficial for developing tech for electric road cars as well.