Ford and Mahindra recently signed an MoU to share platforms and co-develop products including electric vehicles. Considering that Ford brings in rich experience in making monocoque vehicles and Mahindra offers good cost structure, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the scope of the partnership gets extended further.
According to a recent report by Economic Times, the Indian UV specialist who is also leading the electric vehicle market in the country is planning to develop a new electric sedan. The car could emerge as the next gen Verito EV and it could take advantage of Mahindra’s platform sharing arrangement with Ford.
If Mahindra decides to tap Ford’s resources to develop its electric sedan, the heavily localized Ford Figo Aspire platform would form a very good base. If the two automakers develop a good rapport, the electric sedan based on Aspire could be even manufactured at Ford’s Sanand plant alongside the donor model. Such an arrangement would help Mahindra reduce a great deal of expenditure as far as engineering and manufacturing are concerned while Ford India would improve the capacity utilization at its Sanand facility.
However, ET also reports that Mahindra could also explore the option of developing the electric sedan from the ground up instead of relying on Ford for the platform. In that case, expect fresh investment to the tune of Rs 250-300 crore for the project.
The new Mahindra electric sedan along with an electric hatchback (also in the pipeline) would help the company better defend its leadership in the Indian EV space amidst increasing competition. Once the Indian government’s long term policies regarding electric vehicles are made clear, there would be a flood of new green products from several OEMs including Maruti, Tata, Hyundai, Toyota, etc.
The winner would be the one who comes up with an affordable electric vehicle with a practical solution for battery charging/swapping. Maruti has already revealed plans of going all electric in the near future. They have already started testing 50 electric cars in India. First Maruti electric car will be launched by 2020, which will be WagonR. This will be followed by electrification of Swift, Dzire, Alto, Ciaz, Vitara Brezza, etc. Maruti Ciaz electric could be a rival to the upcoming Mahindra electric sedan.