Shared mobility will be the base of EV plan, says M&M's Pawan Goenka

Goenka says Mahindra is looking to electrify radio taxi operator Meru’s fleet, although there is no deadline
Automobile entity Mahindra & Mahindra says shared mobility will be the base of its electric mobility plan.

"This is in tune with government policy. The company is working with state governments and fleet operators to make electric mobility viable. Mahindra now has 22,000-23,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on ground,” said Pawan Goenka, managing director. 

EVs, believes the company, can take off faster in the shared mobility segment. 

Goenka also notes many states have started procuring electric buses, with at least 4,000 of these to on the road this year.  Mahindra Electric has been in partnership with electric fleet provider Lithium Urban for five years, covering 100 million e-kms, it says, in the Bengaluru-based startup's fleet.

Goenka says Mahindra is also looking to electrify radio taxi operator Meru’s fleet, although there is no deadline. Mahindra acquired a 55 per cent majority stake in Meru during September 2019. 

According to a report from Bloomberg NEF, shared mobility services will adopt EVs faster than private owners. By 2040, around 80 per cent of the global ride-sharing fleet will be attributed to EVs; the present ratio is only 1.8 per cent (including taxis, ride hailing and car sharing). Attractive economics, it says, will push the ratio. 

It also claims that demand for private vehicle ownership will gradually reduce and shared mobility see a multi-fold hike. Currently, at least a billion people are said to use some form of a ride-hailing app across the world.

Mahindra will be launching its ATOM Electric in the third quarter of 2020-21 for a shared mobility fleet entity. 

By this March, it also plans to localise production of EV parts in India (however, this excludes battery cells). The company will be manufacturing motors, chargers and assembling batteries at its Bengaluru factory, where it has invested Rs 250 crore. Mahindra has also decided to set up a research and development (R&D) centre in that city, investing close to Rs 500 crore. The R&D is aimed at manufacture of high voltage batteries and high power starter motors, among other EV components.

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