Mahindra Born Electric vision: INGLO platform, EV tech explained
Not too long ago, we reported that the Mahindra & Mahindra Group signed a partnership agreement with the Volkswagen Group for using components from the latter’s MEB platform for developing their Born Electric SUVs. Now with Mahindra having revealed their five electric SUV products amidst much fanfare, it’s time to dive in to what the platform actually is and what tech does it pack in along with the claimed performance and range statistics that it offers.
Mahindra Born Electric: What is the INGLO platform?
Let me explain the basics first. What Mahindra has done is make a modular platform for its electric vehicles, one that can underpin multiple wheelbase and track dimensions, and powertrain configurations, think all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel drive. This platform is what they’re calling the INGLO platform and what it does is allow Mahindra to keep a common base amongst all these vehicles, with only the top hat or body shell being different. Modular platforms like these aren’t uncommon, and Volkswagen’s MEB (Modularer Elektrobaukasten) platform, which is German for “Modular Electrical Construction Kit”, is a good example of a modular platform being used for electric vehicles of different shapes and sizes.
In fact, Mahindra and Volkswagen have gone one step further, having signed a term sheet on supply of MEB electric components for the Born Electric range of SUVs as well as the possibility of future collaboration on projects like charging solutions and cell manufacturing.
Mahindra Born Electric: Charging and battery tech
Mahindra’s electric vehicles underpinned by the INGLO platform will follow a common battery pack design using two different cell architectures – blade and prismatic. The INGLO platform will also support battery capacities ranging from 60 to 80kWh, while supporting 175kW fast-charge capabilities, resulting in 0 to 80 per cent battery charge in less than 30 minutes. Mahindra also claims that its Battery Management System will deliver improved range and crucially, better safety and longevity.
Mahindra Born Electric: Motor configurations and performance
Mahindra’s INGLO platform will feature a compact all-in-one electric motor with the entire powertrain (motor-inverter-transmission) being packaged into a single unit. The Born Electric SUVs will be offered with both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive powertrains, the former delivering a claimed 170-210kW (228-282bhp) of power and the latter being capable of producing 250-290kW (335-389bhp) of power. Mahindra has also claimed a 0-100kmph time ranging between 5 and 6 seconds!
Mahindra Born Electric: Range
No exact number has been quoted for range yet, but we have reason to believe that the Born Electric SUVs should pack in a lot more range than the existing EVs currently on sale, thanks to the significant amount of tech in place to alleviate your range anxiety. For example, the braking system is actually a brake by wire system, completely decoupled from the hydraulics, and the claims suggest it would be the best-in-class for recuperating energy lost when slowing down. Couple that with the tyres that have reduced rolling resistance, zero-drag wheel bearings and an air-con that is said to consume minimal power, and the range figures on the Born Electric SUVs are likely to be ambitious.
Mahindra Born Electric: Dynamics and safety tech
The Mahindra Born Electric SUVs will feature semi-active suspension along with a dual-pinion power steering system to ensure feather-light steering effort, and if our experience with the Scorpio-N is anything to go by, that would be very good news to a buyer. The braking system, as mentioned above, is a brake-by-wire application and it will also feature braking modes for different pedal feel and recuperation. The SUVs will also get drive modes to tweak the response of the powertrain, the suspension and ESC intervention.
Mahindra has also affirmed that the new electric SUVs are designed to meet the highest vehicle safety norms such as GNCAP along with utmost safety for the batteries too, and each e-SUV will come with a structural cage around the cabin for reduced passenger injury. The battery protection consists of high-strength boron steel and Mahindra claims that the new e-SUVs were tested at the world’s largest battery development and testing centre. There’s also ADAS on offer with 5 radars, with the INGLO platform claimed to offer Level 2 plus autonomous capabilities.
Mahindra Born Electric: Tech
The INGLO platform will also feature a network of built-in intelligence, with three high performance computers and an embedded 5G network capability allowing the vehicle to receive OTA (Over The Air) updates. Mahindra also claims to have employed the very latest gen of semiconductor tech – 200K DMIPS of computing power via a dual octa-core processor along with the capability of 1920 x 720 HD resolution – and this should make for a very slick and powerful infotainment, with the computing power heavily aiding to run all the electronic systems of the vehicles with ease.
Mahindra’s Born Electric vehicles will be conceptualised and developed at their Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E) facility in UK, and it is very exciting to see the Indian carmaker flexing its technological tour de force, something we’ve already experienced with its offerings like the XUV700.