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NEW DELHI: Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), the country’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer by volumes, has revised its strategy to focus aggressively on development and sales of electric three-wheelers instead of electric cars in the coming years, two people aware of the company’s plans told Mint.

M&M’s electric vehicle development business comes under its wholly-owned subsidiary Mahindra Electric Mobilty Ltd. The company has set a target of selling 10,000 units of such vehicles on a monthly basis, and has also been talking to different state governments and private entities to push these zero-emission vehicles, according to the sources.

The Mumbai-based automaker has decided to focus on the segment since the potential of such vehicles is comparatively higher than electric cars in the coming years, in India, and the union government is also trying to promote such vehicles to reduce pollution in cities and towns through the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid and Electric Vehicle (FAME) scheme.

The Union government has earmarked Rs525 crore for supporting sales of 5 lakh units of electric three-wheelers by 2022 under FAME.

M&M was initially focused on developing electric cars but factors like lack of infrastructure and high prices have managed to keep the customers away from such vehicles in the domestic market. The company has thus decided to focus on three-wheelers which are more commercially viable.

According to Mahesh Babu, managing director, Mahindra Electric Mobility, the company believes achieving a large volume per month of electric three wheelers is an achievable target if the policy environment enables and it will work with all stake holders towards the same.

“We have been able to highlight the benefits of this product and some states have adopted electric mobility in a positive way. We are sure that other states will understand and support economic improvements of drivers, encourage women empowerment coupled with environmental benefits," added Babu, in response to an email query sent by Mint on Friday.

Mahindra launched its electric three-wheeler, Treo, in 2019, and has also invested in a manufacturing capacity for these vehicles in Karnataka. The company has already started supplying these vehicles to fleet aggregating platforms like SmartE and others.

According to the first person mentioned above, Mahindra is talking to different entities through which these vehicles can be used for last mile connectivity.

“Development of electric cars requires a lot of investment and the competition is very stiff in a very limited space. So, it is prudent of M&M, to have changed its strategy. There is still no market for electric cars but in the next three to four years there will certainly be one for electric three-wheelers and two-wheelers," added the person mentioned above requesting anonymity.

Apart from selling electric three wheelers, Mahindra Electric is also investing in development of electric powertrains which the company plans to supply to other car makers in India and other markets.

In 2017, Mahindra Electric and Tata Motors won a tender to supply 10000 electric cars to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, a government-owned entity.

In an interview to Mint on Feb 6, M&M managing director Pawan Goenka had said the company is looking for investments in Mahndra Electric and is in talks with some global vehicle and component manufacturers for joint development of electric vehicles and powertrains.

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