Mahindra & Mahindra plans to invest ₹3000 crore in its EV business in the next 3 years as it targets its goal of putting 5 lakh electric vehicles on Indian Road by 2025.
It is also looking for more alliances and partnerships in the vertical, as per a top company official. It is looking at combining its capabilities of operations around the globe, even in Detroit and Italy.
"So, for EVs, we are going to invest Rs 3,000 crore additional to what we have talked about," Mahindra Group Managing Director and CEO Anish Shah said. M&M is already investing ₹9000 crore in the Auto and farm sector for the next five years.
It has already invested ₹1,700 crore in the EV business in India and another ₹500 crore on its new R & D center.
It has already opened its Electrical Technology plant in Bengaluru, for producing battery packs, power electronics, and motors and also a new manufacturing unit at its Chakan plant, where it will produce EVs.
Shah, who recently took over as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with the mandate to have complete oversight of and responsibility for all the Mahindra
Group businesses said the fresh investment "is over and above that".
It will be utilized in various activities, including developing a new platform that can roll out multiple models, by combining the group's various capabilities. "...there are multiple capabilities we have within the group. We have capabilities in Detroit...we have the capability in Automobili Pininfarina and our Formula E," Shah said adding those are going to combine to get an electric platform for India.
When asked if M&M is looking for alliances or partnerships, he said, "For EVs, we will look at alliances. EV is the future." "We already have one alliance. We have announced an MoU with REE (Automotive) which is an Israeli company. This is for smaller trucks and commercial vehicles. And we will have other alliances on the EV side as well. So we are very open to alliances but it is more for the future," Shah said.
On being asked if the future alliances would be technology or equity partnerships, he said, "We are open to all sorts of possibilities at this stage but at this point, it is too early to say because we will have to have a lot of conversations. Once we do that we will have a better sense."
Mr. Shah is bullish on the EV market in India. He said for the last mile, which is three-wheelers and small four-wheelers for passengers and load, the cost of ownership is now the same as that of conventional vehicles with charging not an issue due to swappable batteries.
"So that segment, we see taking off in the short term. In the next two or three years, it should become a very significant part," Shah said.
However, he said, "For four-wheelers, it is going to take long... Infrastructure is not going to come in until the cost of ownership is equal. A lot of things have to work together but we see a three to five years horizon for that to happen."