With Rs800 cr outlay, Mahindra to double EV portfolio in 3 years

India's home-grown utility vehicles leader Mahindra & Mahindra aims to double its portfolio of electric vehicles and bring on the road at least four new EV models in the next three years, for which it has earmarked an outlay of Rs800 crore.

According to an Economic Times report, with incentives under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) scheme in place, the company is predicting massive potential for electric vehicles. Though the government not announced an extension of the FAME scheme beyond 31 March this year, it is expected to do so.

Mahindra Electric chief executive Mahesh Babu said the company would ''recommend that the current support under FAME and special tax structure for electric vehicles continues for at least the next two years'', according to the report.

The resultant increase in electric vehicle adoption should start showing in the next one to two years, he said. Mahindra has accordingly commenced work to increase production capacity for electric vehicles to 60,000-70,000 units a year from the current 5,000.

In the ongoing financial year, the company expects to double sales to 2,400-2,500 electric vehicles. Nearly, half these will come from taxi operators and others in the fleet segment. ''Going forward, I believe fleet (purchases) will grow rapidly compared to personal adoption (of electric vehicles). It makes sense if you run a car 100-200 km. The low operating cost will offset whatever you had initially invested to buy a car,'' Babu said.

Mahindra Electric, which did a pilot with 100 electric cars in association with Ola in Nagpur, has also formed an association with Uber Technologies. To begin with, they will deploy electric vehicles in Delhi and Hyderabad. The programme will later be extended to cover more cities.

Mahindra also recently acquired a 16 per cent stake in self-drive car rental company Zoomcar for Rs176 crore.

Mahindra Electric has supplied 500 electric vehicles to Lithium Urban Technologies, which provides a cab service comprising electric vehicles. It has bagged also an order for 1,000 electric cars from Bengaluru-based fleet operator Bhagirathi Travel Solutions.

Babu said the government should support adoption of electric vehicles for some more time. ''Today, penetration of electric vehicles stands at less than 1 per cent. Once this reaches the 5-10 per cent mark, there would not be any need of subsidies,'' he said.