Mahindra & Mahindra signs EV partnership with Volkswagen Group
Big news coming in on the electric vehicle front. Mahindra & Mahindra have signed a partnership agreement with the Volkswagen Group to evaluate further development on its Born Electric platform by sourcing components from the German car maker’s MEB platform. The components include batteries, electric motors, battery cells and system components. It is important to note that the agreement currently evaluates the scope of collaboration. It indicates binding rules for the evaluation phase as well as the non-binding scope of supply. Negotiations on this binding supply agreement will continue through this year and the two parties hope to conclude it by the end of 2022. Post the successful conclusion of this first round of evaluation we will then see a deeper technical partnership between Mahindra and the Volkswagen Group on electric vehicles.
The partnering agreement to evaluate the scope of collaboration was signed on May 18 in Chennai by Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto & Farm Sectors, M&M and Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board of Management member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components.
The MEB platform has been developed by the Volkswagen Group, and was revealed globally back in 2018. It has been designed specifically for battery electric vehicles and the platform underpins the ID. range of electric cars produced by Volkswagen. The MEB platform can spawn a wide range of body styles and can be configured in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive layouts. Other manufacturers within the Volkswagen Group umbrella benefit from this platform too, with the Skoda Enyaq and Audi Q4 e-tron also being underpinned by this platform. Volkswagen Group have also designed this platform to support fast charging and long-distance range.
Mahindra & Mahindra have been an early mover in electric vehicles with its e2o and e-Vertio lineup but it has been left behind in the current EV race notably by Tata Motors. Mahindra unveiled their ‘Born Electric vision’ earlier this year under which they plan to roll out a new generation of battery electric vehicles which are currently under development at the Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai and Mahindra Advanced Design centre in Europe. If the partnership with the VW Group goes through, these Born Electric cars will make use of components from VW’s MEB platform, such as electric motors, batteries, cells, system parts and more. No details about the vehicles are known yet, but Mahindra will reveal its battery electric car lineup in July 2022.
Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board of Management member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components said in the press release, “Mahindra is a pioneer in the electric mobility space in India and a great partner for our MEB Electric Platform. Together with Mahindra, we want to contribute significantly to the electrification of India, a huge automotive market with enormous growth potential and high relevance for climate protection. Another proof point that the MEB is both technologically state of the art and highly competitive in terms of cost. The MEB is thus progressively developing into the leading open platform for e-mobility, generating significant volume and economies of scale. That’s crucial for every company in the EV world and the key to competitive solutions for our customers.”
Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto and Farm Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, said in the press release, “We are very pleased to have Volkswagen, a significant global investor in the electric mobility space, as a strategic partner in achieving our ambitious Born Electric Vision. The complementarity of their extensive technology, innovation, and vertical integration in supply chains, will provide a framework to develop our next-gen ‘Born Electric Platform’, to be revealed soon in Oxfordshire UK. Our teams across India, UK and Detroit are passionately creating a breath-taking future.”
With Mahindra all set to reveal its new generation of battery electric cars in July this year, we can only wonder whether the SUV giant would bring back a legendary name like the Commander or the Armada, or would it head in a different direction altogether? July 2022 is when more details will be revealed.