New Delhi: Amid a regulatory push by the government and debate on whether the time has come for electric vehicles in India, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd on Friday launched its first electric three-wheeler, e-Alfa Mini.
At the auto industry’s annual conference, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday prodded auto makers to switch to producing vehicles that run on non-polluting alternative fuels or risk being overtaken by inevitable policy change. Automakers have to move to vehicles that run on electricity, biodiesel, ethanol and compressed natural gas “whether they like it or not", he said.
Priced at Rs1.12 lakh, e-Alfa Mini is the maiden offering in the last mile connectivity segment by the Mumbai-based firm.
So far, Mahindra is the only manufacturer of electric vehicles in a country that is looking to embrace the technology in a big way to reduce dependence on import of fossil fuels and achieve zero emissions. India’s electric mobility mission envisages putting 6 million electric vehicles on roads by 2020 and aims to make the country an all-electric vehicle market by 2030.
Driven by government regulations, among all the vehicle categories, three wheelers will be the first to adopt the electric vehicle technology, Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra told reporters.
Powered by a 120Ah battery, the e-Alfa is aimed at intra-city movement and on a full charge can travel for up to 85 kilometers at its top speed of 25 kmph.
It goes on sale from 9 September, first in the National Capital Region followed by Kolkata and Lucknow and subsequently in other parts of the country. Mahindra has a capacity for making 1000 e-rickshaws per month.
Last month, state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd invited global bids for 10,000 electric sedans that will run up to 150 km on a single charge, for use by government departments. Mahindra will be a key participant. It is also going to participate in a tender for three wheelers and buses expected soon, Goenka said.