New Delhi: Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd on Wednesday unveiled plans to invest as much as 1,000 crore in Karnataka to build a facility for the development and manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs). Mahindra, which mainly produces sport-utility vehicles and tractors, will implement the project through its subsidiary, Mahindra Electric. The firm will also build components for EVs at the so-called electric technology manufacturing hub in Bengaluru.

The facility is expected to have an annual capacity of 70,000 vehicles by 2020. Mahindra also plans to supply electric vehicle parts from the facility to other companies wanting to build their own electric vehicles. On Wednesday, it also showcased its Treo range of electric autos.

The facility is part of Mahindra’s strategy to keep its leadership of India’s electric vehicle industry at a time when the union government is urging auto makers to locally produce electric vehicles. The government is also working on a policy to promote eco-friendly vehicles in a bid to cut rampant pollution in major cities.

Mahindra will make battery packs, power electronics and motor assembly which are key to an electric power train.

Pawan Goenka, Mahindra’s managing director, said the firm is looking at developing electric cars costing €300,000 with its Italian subsidiary Pininfarina.

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“It’s a day we consider a milestone. Our expansion today is going to develop India as a brand for electric vehicles," he said.

The Treo electric three-wheelers will use Mahindra’s home-grown electric powertrain and lithium-ion battery. Mahindra announced in February this year an alliance with South Korea’s LG Chem to make lithium-ion batteries in India. Mahindra became the first auto maker in India to invest in electric vehicle technology when it acquired Bengaluru-based Reva Eletric Car Co. in 2010.

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