M&M: 1K cr for EVs in Bengaluru, Chakan

M&M: 1K cr for EVs in Bengaluru, Chakan

Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd at Electric Technology Manufacturing Hub and Treo electric 3 Wheeler launch programme of Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited at Bomasandra in Bengaluru on Thursday. Photo by S K Dinesh

Automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra will be investing Rs 1,000 crore on research and development of electric vehicles at their Chakan and Bengaluru plants, through its EV arm, Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd.

The company has already spent Rs 500 crore and is planning to spend an equal amount on the development of the electric vehicles by March 2020, company officials told DH, here on Thursday.

Out of the Rs 500 crore spent, Rs 100 crore has been spent on development of its three-wheeler -- Treo and electric vehicle manufacturing hub at Bengaluru. The other Rs 400 crore has been spent on the development of electric products such as E2oPlus, E-Supro, and E-Alfa.

With the opening of a new facility in Bengaluru, Mahindra's capacity to manufacture electric vehicles has gone up to 25,000 units per annum.

"We can keep waiting for the right time to introduce electric vehicles over the next 10 years. It won't happen. Right time should be created and that is what we are doing with every launch in this segment," Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, M&M Ltd said.

New EV facility in Bengaluru

The company is also setting up a global EV research and development facility in Bengaluru, for which the state government has allocated 14 acres of land in Devanahalli.

Goenka said the EV segment is still not very profitable for the company. "Frankly speaking, it's not something that we are making a lot of money on, but any pioneer in any technology has to do that. We are trying to price the products as economically as possible," he added.

In fact, the Treo three-wheeler is priced at a modest Rs 1.36 lakh (ex-showroom Bengaluru) and is aimed at improving the last and the first-mile connectivity. "Driven by the same +ME technology, we are also proud to roll out the first Treo. Built on India’s first Lithium-ion three-wheeler platform, we are confident that Treo will transform the way urban India travels," Mahesh Babu, CEO Mahindra Electric said.

The facility will create additional direct employment for around 200 people and some more through the allied services, in the state of Karnataka, the company said.

The Treo range of electric three-wheelers is equipped with Mahindra Electric’s home-grown powertrain and maintenance-free Lithium-ion battery. The variants include Treo electric auto and Treo Yaari electric rickshaw, both available in the hard-top weather-proof variants. With the use of light-weighting technologies and composite body panels, the Treo has a certified range of 170 km.