While quite bullish about electric vehicles, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) believes internal combustion engine (ICE) models will continue to be a significant part of its product portfolio even five years from now.
“By 2027, the ICE volumes for us will be higher than today, even with 20-30% EV penetration. Because that is going to be the growth of market overall and the growth in market share that we have,” Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director, auto and farm sectors, M&M, said at a round-table conference in London.
“ICE will be a very important part of our portfolio even five years later. We don’t need to do work on new platforms for ICE now. The ones that we have will cover us for 8-10 years. But we will do work on new products. That we will continue for a long time. ICE is at least another 10 years,” he added.
The company inaugurated an EV design studio, Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E), in Oxfordshire, UK, this Independence Day. It also unveiled five electric SUVs under two EV brands — XUV and BE — at the facility. Based on Mahindra’s new INGLO EV platform, which uses components from Volkswagen Group’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform, the electric SUVs are XUV.e8, XUV.e9, BE.05, BE.07 and BE.09. Among them, the first to be launched will be XUV.e8 in December 2024.
Mahindra expects electric SUVs to constitute 20-30% of its overall SUV portfolio by 2027, contributing volumes of 15,000-17,000 units a month and 200,000 units a year.
Earlier this year in July, Mahindra and UK’s development finance institution British International Investment (BII) had executed a binding agreement to invest up to Rs 1,925 crore each into a wholly-owned subsidiary of the maker of Thar and Scorpio SUVs that will be newly incorporated and focus on manufacturing passenger EVs.
Valued at Rs 70,070 crore, the total capital infusion for it is envisaged to be approximately Rs 8,000 crore ($1 billion) between FY24 and FY27 for the planned product portfolio.
“The INGLO platform will be fully owned by the new company. The XUV.e brands, including XUV400, will be owned by the new company. The BE brand will be fully owned by the new company,” Jejurikar said. The XUV brand will be licensed to the new company for use in electric models.
“For the next few years, the manufacturing sub-contracts will be done by Mahindra & Mahindra for the new company,” he said.
Jejurikar said the company showed its entire strategy to BII. “They knew that we were talking about these products. By then we had decided that we were going to have a different brand called BE. So, all of this was shared. The valuation was their confidence that with a strategy like this, five years from now, 20-30% of Mahindra’s portfolio can easily get converted to EV SUVs,” he said.
Mahindra will also export the electric SUVs to different countries. However, the company has not decided on the markets yet.
“Right now, what you see is the right-hand drive offering. And that will be from a regulatory requirement to meet the needs of all right-hand drive markets around the world,” Jejurikar said.
Talking about the charging infrastructure, he said that no one player can create it. Charging infrastructure will be a function of what governments, startups and multiple individual companies are working to create, he added.
Travel for the story was sponsored by Mahindra & Mahindra