When anyone mentions Asian car manufacturers or electronics producers we tend to automatically think of China, Japan and Korea for obvious reasons (and they do it all so well). However, it is the Indians who are about to make a splash in the electric car world. Although ‘tidal wave’ would be a more accurate description than a splash.
If we were to say the name Mahindra to you it would probably not register a flicker of recognition. There is a very good reason for this. The Mahindra brand of vehicle, although they have attempted to dip into the UK car market in the past, has no real presence in the UK. Or in the whole of Europe for that matter. This may well be about to change.
Mahindra has launched an electric car in the UK before, and I can see your confused faces as you scratch your heads trying to remember this vehicle. You are not alone (it came as news to us as well). The Mahindra e20 was launched in around 2015 and was a small, City type electric vehicle. The only problem is that it was rubbish. An Auto Trader review in 2016 (2 stars in case you wondered) described the car as ‘slow, crude and cramped’. Not the best review, I’m sure you will agree. In fact, the e20 was never even classified as a car so didn’t have to pass any of the usual safety tests (why it wasn’t classified as a car is not known to us. Answers on a postcard please).
So, as you can see, the Mahindra has a heck of a bad reputation in the UK to break. However, we like to give people a second chance, particularly when they are looking to contribute heavily to the electric car revolution.
Mahindra may not be well known in the UK but they are one of India’s biggest selling brands of cars. The company, like most other manufacturers around the world, are investing a huge amount of money into the electric car market. Although, as a country, India is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to preparing for a greener future in general, their leading automakers do not want to be left behind on the global market.
Mahindra announced in November 2021 that they will be launching an incredible 16 electric vehicles by 2027. There will be a lot of lessons learned from the e20 from nearly 10 years ago. In fact, the electric car market should be well suited to a manufacturer like Mahindra. Looking into the company, it can be seen that Mahindra actually specialise in SUVs and other 4-wheel drive vehicles. The electric car market has been especially hot for this type of vehicle.
Mahindra will be investing £3.2m into the electrification process (a lot of money for the region) and are looking to bring in private equity investors to help carve out a separate entity for the electric vehicle arm of the company. This is a serious statement of their intent to surge the growth in the electric mobility sector.
What Can We Expect To See
Mahindra hasn’t gone into too much detail about what all sixteen vehicles will be, although we do know that a number of them will be SUVs.
What we do know is the identity of the first two cars which will be launched in 2022. The first of which will be the Mahindra eKUV100, complete with a 15kWh battery and a capability of achieving 150 miles on a single charge. Not too impressive it has to be said. However, they will be following up with the Mahindra eKUV300. Although official details are still a little sketchy, it is expected that this vehicle will be able to reach 300 miles on a single charge. This puts it much more in line with what we expect from a modern electric car.
The Indian Takeaway
Okay, the first offerings from Mahindra are not going to be earth shattering by modern electric car standards. However, the fact that another major car manufacturer has gone all-in for the electric car revolution (if you can ignore the few petrol and diesel cars they will still be producing in the next 10 years) means that we will have far more choice (as Mahindra are looking to break the European market) and we will have cheaper options as well. Whether this will continue to put pressure on the more established manufacturers to bring their prices down sooner rather than later remains to be seen.
Personally I wish Mahindra all the best with their electric vehicle endeavours. They have worked hard to iron out the issues they had with the e20 and they are starting to catch up with the rest of the electric vehicle field. I cannot wait to see what other vehicles they launch in the next 5 years.
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* All information correct as of 02/02/2022.