Mahindra & Mahindra to enter electric car segment

M&M and its Korean arm SsangYong Motor will work jointly

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Mahindra & Mahindra, jointly with its South Korean subsidiary SsangYong Motor, has announced its plans to develop a production platform for an electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) by 2020. 

Lack of public charging infrastructure in both India and South Korea is one of the many bottlenecks in the mass-adoption of electric cars, which is inevitably going to be the future of automotive companies. The move towards clean-fuel vehicles is slow but palpable across the global auto industry. Government subsidies for clean-fuel technologies has also incentivised growth in the electric vehicle segment. 

In Mumbai, CEO of SsangYong, Choi Johng-sik, announced that it was diligently working with it's Indian parent company to roll out a new generation of electric cars. 

In India, e2o and eVerito (sedan) are two of the electric vehicles manufactured by Mahindra & Mahindra. The auto giant also makes electric two-wheelers in the United States. 

Mahindra & Mahindra had acquired a 70% stake in SsangYong Motor in 2011, the fourth largest automaker in South Korea which is more than five decades old. 

The move also shows how the established and traditional automakers are trying to catch up with new generation electric car manufacturers like Tesla; to stay ahead of the curve in an industry which is predicted to be soon taken over by environment-conscious consumers opting for clean-energy powered commuting options. 

Apart from development of charging infrastructure and billing mechanisms, countries are yet to figure out a way to make these exorbitantly priced commodities more affordable. Tesla's recent plan to launch a $35,000 model in 2018 is on its way to increase the market share of electric vehicles globally, which currently stands at less than 1%. 

The expansion of renewable forms of energy like solar and wind power will translate the economies of scale into low prices, in turn driving down the operational costs of a green energy-powered auto industry. 

Ford, Nissan, BMW, and GM are some of the other traditional players rolling out sleeker and more efficient models of electric vehicles by the day. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - Apr 11, 2017 12:00 IST