Mahindra is embarking on an electric vehicle (EV) push and plans to launch a total of five new SUV models across two new sub-brands over the next few years.
All five of these upcoming Mahindra XUV.e and BE electric SUVs will use motors, battery system components and battery cells used in vehicles on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture, which underpins models like the Volkswagen ID.4 and Cupra Born.
They will all be based on a new modular platform called Inglo, which will use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries with either blade or prismatic cell architectures with capacity between 60-80kWh.
When asked why the company chose Volkswagen as the brand to partner up with for electric components, Mahindra Automotive technology and product development president R. ‘Velu’ Velusamy outlined three key players in the EV space as potential partners.
“Tesla is the main player in electric that is from America, then you have BYD which is based in China, then VW [with its ID. range of electric vehicles],” he said.
“We were contacting many [companies] but VW came forward and said they were willing to share their electric components.
“Volkwagen is a very reliable brand to [help] jumpstart [our] electric journey.”
As noted above, these five electric SUVs will slot into two new sub-brands: XUV.e, which features a copper-hued version of Mahindra’s existing Twin Peaks badge and promises to “build upon the Mahindra legacy”; and BE, which will offer vehicles with more “audacious” styling.
All of them will be produced at a new EV plant in Chakan, India alongside the existing production facility for its internal-combustion (ICE) vehicles. Mahindra has invested $3 million in this new EV plant and construction is currently underway.
“Right now our major focus is to get the platform development done and integrate the multitude of technologies it requires to operate effectively right,” Mr Velusamy said.
“[We] want to get it absolutely right because the people involved, suppliers involved, and manufacturing units are all completely new to this, so we want to be a little bit careful.”
The first of the five upcoming Mahindra electric SUVs, dubbed the XUV.e8, is set to go on sale in India by the end of 2024. It’ll be followed by four others, to be launched there over the next few years.
Mahindra Australia marketing manager James Halliwell told CarExpert in April this year the company will “evaluate some of those models for this market” and will likely launch an EV here around 2025 or 2026.
At this stage it’s unclear which of the five upcoming EVs Mahindra is evaluating for a local launch. The brand also currently produces the electric XUV400, a rebadged SsangYong Tivoli crossover, though its future is unclear.
When asked if there is an end date for internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles for Mahindra, Mr Velusamy responded with a clear no.
He added that seeing the company only recently launched a new set of engines, they will “take the company out for a minimum of 15 years or 2035.”
Once these Mahindra electric SUVs arrive in Australia, they will join the range of petrol- and diesel-powered SUVs and utes in the line-up.