Mahindra & Mahindra and Volkswagen have agreed to investigate the use of the latter’s MEB electric vehicle (EV) components, within the former’s upcoming EV products.
Specifically, the Indian automaker intends its new ground-up electric platform to use Volkswagen MEB electric motors, battery system components, and battery cells.
It’s unclear how different Mahindra’s final ‘Born Electric Platform’ will be from the existing MEB platform.
More details about this Mahindra ‘Born Electric Platform’ are expected to surface soon, pending a binding supply contract that’s expected to be finished by the end of 2022.
The MEB platform has always been designed as a modular platform. It currently underpins EVs such as the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4, Audi Q4 e-tron, Cupra Born, and Skoda Enyaq. It’s also set to be used in an upcoming Ford “mid-size crossover”.
The more scale Volkswagen can generate from it, the cheaper its EV parts will become.
Mahindra and Volkswagen say are aiming to quickly electrify the Indian automotive market with this partnership, which is seen as “one of the most important automotive growth markets” to the companies.
India committed to only sell zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) – meaning battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVS) – by 2040. This was announced at the COP26 climate summit in 2021.
Therefore, the electrification of the Indian passenger car and van segments are expected to gain significant momentum in the coming years.
“We are very pleased to have Volkswagen, a significant global investor in the electric mobility space, as a strategic partner in achieving our ambitious Born Electric Vision,” said Mahindra & Mahindra executive director for the auto and farm sectors Rajesh Jejurikar.
“The complementarity of their extensive technology, innovation, and vertical integration in supply chains, will provide a framework to develop our next- gen ‘Born Electric Platform’, to be revealed soon in Oxfordshire, UK.”
From the VW side of things, Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall said “Mahindra is a pioneer in the electric mobility space in India and a great partner for our MEB Electric Platform.
“Together with Mahindra, we want to contribute significantly to the electrification of India, a huge automotive market with enormous growth potential and high relevance for climate protection,” Mr Schmall added.
“It’s another proof point that the MEB is both technologically state of the art and highly competitive in terms of cost.”
Mahindra & Mahindra is the world’s largest producer of tractors and it currently owns world-renowned Italian design house Pininfarina.
Its parent company Mahindra Group has ownership stakes across industries such as financial services, hospitality, IT consulting, and defence.
In Australia, Mahindra first launched in 1990 with a slightly modernised version of the 1950s civilian Willy CJ-3B Jeep, using Indian parts.
More recently it has imported the Pik-Up ute and Genio light truck, as well as the XUV500 seven-seat medium SUV. It is also gearing up to reveal the first all-new Scorpio four-wheel drive in two decades, and it’s likely to make the trip to Australia too.