HomeCar NewsMahindra Electric SUVs To Get Volkswagen Battery System, Electric Drivetrain

Mahindra Electric SUVs To Get Volkswagen Battery System, Electric Drivetrain

Mahindra’s new INGLO platform means that it is IN-dian by heart and is GLO-bal in standards

Mahindra INGLO Platform for upcoming Electric SUVs
Mahindra INGLO Platform for upcoming Electric SUVs. Image – Thomas Schmall

Mahindra electric SUVs under BE range and XUV range will dominate Indian 4-wheeled EV space in the near future. While most manufacturers offer downgraded products in India when compared to global-spec models, Mahindra is aiming to offer global-spec cars right from the get go. That’s what GLO in INGLO signifies.

But what is this INGLO platform? How is it global-spec worthy? Is it really designed by Mahindra? Did Mahindra only source the LFP battery cells or the entire powertrain? Is upcoming XUV400 electric based on INGLO? Well, hold your horses. We’ll break it down for ya.

Mahindra Electric SUV

Take a guess at what is common between Audi’s Q4 e-tron, Q4 Sportback e-tron, Q5 e-tron and Cupra’s Born, upcoming Urban Rebel and Tavascan, Skoda’s Enyaq iV, Enyaq Coupe iV and Volkswagen’s ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, ID.6, ID. Buzz, and ID. Buzz Cargo? Not just them, Ford’s upcoming two electric crossovers for the old continent (Europe) and also Mahindra’s XUV.e8, XUV.e9, BE.05, BE.07 and lastly, BE.09.

On the surface, you can immediately say that all of them are EVs. You’re half right. Under the skin, they all have the same MEB platform developed by Volkswagen. MEB platform or Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten is a modular and scalable EV platform developed by VW Group. MEB platform was made available to other manufacturers to procure under licensing and Mahindra is the second customer after Ford.

Volkswagen plans to provide Mahindra with Electric Drivetrain as well as Battery System
Volkswagen plans to provide Mahindra with Electric Drivetrain as well as Battery System

There are two types of MEB platforms, one for passenger cars and the other for UVs that can take heavier cargo like pickup trucks or LCVs. Mahindra has revealed that they are using MEB components sourced from Volkswagen. But they aren’t specifying what exactly are the components used on new Mahindra electric SUV range.

VW Group Board of Management member and CEO of VW Group Components, Thomas Schmall, revealed that VW Group is providing Mahindra with electric drives, battery systems and also VW’s unified cells. He also revealed that they have partnered up with Mahindra to supply MEB components to over a million (10 lakh) vehicles over the platform’s lifetime.

What Do MEB Components Include?

Schmall says that VW will explore further potential areas of cooperation with Mahindra including vehicle projects, local cell manufacturing and charging solutions such as VW’s Flexpoles too as a broader strategic alliance to accelerate the electrification of the Indian automotive market is the common goal for both the companies.

Mahindra Electric SUVs Powered By Volkswagen
Mahindra INGLO SUVs Powered By Volkswagen Battery System, Electric Drivetrain

Going by Schmall’s statement, Mahindra has procured electric drives, battery systems and unified cells. Electric drives mean that Mahindra seems to have obtained APP310 motor which is VW’s proprietary PMDC motor which MEB platform supports. The number 310 means that it will have 310 Nm of peak torque.

It also gets a 1-speed gearbox handling all of the motor’s speed range. Along with this gearbox, APP310 motor only weighs 90 kg. Coming to battery systems, means a complete energy storage system. It includes all the battery modules along with the individual battery cells, BMS (Battery Management System), integrated thermal sensing and monitoring systems and also the algorithms and software. Mahindra may have procured some or all of these.

Lastly, unified cells are again VW’s proprietary prismatic battery platform. It boasts three main chemistries within, they are LFP based for entry-level vehicles, Manganese based for high-volume vehicles and Nickel based for premium and high-end cars. Mahindra has revealed that they have procured LFP cells.

Implications Of Mahindra-VW Venture In India

VW-Mahindra cooperation comes as a massive boost to the future of Indian electric four-wheeler market as it facilitates localization of one of the most important modular global EV architectures. Global technology benefited from attractive Indian cost structure will emerge as a highly competitive package for both domestic and international markets.

Moreover, we hope to see a whole array of locally produced MEB-based Skoda and VW models at the right price bracket in the medium term once Mahindra is done setting up its supply chain system for critical components. Synergies between the two in vehicle projects could further make things interesting. Looking at Mahindra, other manufacturers are also likely to at least consider VW’s cost-effective, modular and scalable MEB EV platform. 

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