Mahindra & Mahindra has launched five electric SUVs designed in the UK as the carmaker seeks to expedite its lagging switch to battery-powered cars in India. 
The SUVs will be sold under two brands — XUV and BE — it said in a video presentation on Monday. The electric vehicles were conceptualised at Mahindra Advanced Design Europe in the UK. 
Producing a range of clean vehicles is crucial for Mahindra to break the dominance of rival Tata in India’s nascent electric car market. Mahindra, a local leader in electric three-wheelers, currently sells only one electric car, the e-Verito, despite having a first-mover advantage with its purchase of an Indian electric carmaker in 2010. 
India’s adoption of electric vehicles has fallen behind other major countries such as China due to sparse charging infrastructure and high upfront cost of battery-powered cars. Decarbonising transport is key for India, which is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, to meet its goal of becoming net-carbon zero by 2070.  
Ola’s Plans
The first of Mahindra’s e-SUVs will be launched by the end of 2024 for the Indian market while the other three should be out by 2026, the company said.
In a sign of how the market is getting crowded, Bhavish Aggarwal’s start-up, Ola Electric Mobility, announced plans on the same day to launch its first electric car in mid-2024 and price it at less than $50,000 (about R819,730) for the Indian market.
Mahindra’s new wholly-owned EV unit was valued at $9.1bn (about R149.17bn) when it attracted an investment of $250m (about R4.09bn) by British International Investment in July. The carmaker’s executive director, Rajesh Jejurikar, expects 30% of Mahindra’s SUV portfolio to be electric by 2027 with the launch of eight electric SUVs by then.
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