Mumbai/Seoul: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, which acquired an Indian electric car maker seven years ago, is targeting to start selling electric buses next year in Asia’s third-biggest economy as the government looks to cut the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The automaker is working on bigger electric powertrains that will drive buses and cargo vehicles, Mahesh Babu, chief executive officer (CEO) at Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Ltd, said in an interview without elaborating. The Mumbai-based company aims to sell a total of 100,000 units of electric passenger vehicles, buses and trucks over the next two to three years, compared with about 7,000 units of such vehicles it has sold so far, he said.
The push by Mahindra to expand its offering of electric vehicles comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked a group of senior ministers to lead an initiative to ensure that by 2030 most, if not all, vehicles in India are powered by electricity. The government is providing subsidies on electric and hybrid vehicles and has said it will support the development of technology as well as charging infrastructure.
“There’s a huge demand for mass-mobility transport solutions in India as the ministry of transportation and pollution control board are keen to have clean-energy vehicles plying on the roads,” said Babu. “The prime challenge is related to charging infrastructure as there is no policy.”
India can potentially save fossil fuels worth about $100 billion annually, cut dependence on imported petroleum products and reduce pollution in cities by as much as 90% by converting most of its vehicles to run on electricity, power minister Piyush Goyal said last month.
Mahindra is also looking at making luxury electric cars under the Pininfarina brand, Babu said. The company last year completed the purchase of Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA, the creator of numerous Ferraris including the 458 Spider roadster. Chairman Anand Mahindra said last week at the Seoul Motor Show that the automaker hopes to participate in high-performance electric vehicles with the design company.
The Indian company and its South Korean unit Ssangyong Motor Co. will together make an electric vehicle using the same platform that can target large emerging electric car markets including China, Mahindra said on 30 March. Bloomberg