Mahindra eyes more electric cars, Verito electric coming next

Mahindra may be a little ahead of its time at the moment, given that it is planning to launch more electric cars in the Indian market. Just weeks after the launch of the Mahindra E20 electric car, Mahindra is now planning to roll out an all-electric sedan in the form of the Mahindra Verito electric by early 2014.

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Mahindra had showcased the Verito Electric at the auto expo in Delhi in 2012 and says plans are underway for full development of the car. And it is also ready with two more electric vehicles for the commercial segment – the Mahindra Gio (small four-wheeled micro-truck) and Mahindra Maxximo mini truck. The company is apparently investing about Rs. 150 crore to develop all these three cars.

However, the success of these electric vehicles is dependent on the response Mahindra gets to the Mahindra e2o. The company had planned to sell about 400 units of the Mahindra e2o a month, but so far, just about a month after launch the response has not been encouraging. Also read: Mahindra launches e2o electric car at Rs. 5.96 lakh

The big issue here is the price of the car – without subsides the car is as expensive as some premium hatchbacks, priced at Rs. 7.30 lakh ex-showroom, and has serious limitations in terms of driving range, top-speed and space when compared to a regular premium hatchback. In Delhi, Mahindra managed to get a 29% subsidy on the car, pricing it at Rs. 5.96 lakh on-road. The company is still waiting for a national subsidy to be announced for the Mahindra e2o, which will then extend to the Mahindra Verito, Gio and Maxximo electric. The government had announced a Rs. 13,000 crore plan for electric vehicles up to 2020, and the company hoped that it would extend a subsidy of about Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh per electric vehicle, making it cheaper for buyers to buy electric cars. Also read: Mahindra e2o first drive impression: Peppy, convenient city car

The initial response has been slow because buyers are waiting for this subsidy, which according to some reports is likely to be announced by the end of April 2013. Hopefully, that would give those waiting to buy the Mahindra e2o enough reason to buy one. If Mahindra manages to achieve its target of 400 vehicles a month, it will then plan on exports of the Mahindra e2o. The Mahindra Verito electric, when launched, would be India’s first all-electric sedan, but one needs to see how Mahindra plans on giving it adequate driving range for it to appeal to regular buyers. Also read: Running costs of Mahindra e20 vs Chevrolet Beat diesel vs Hyundai i10 automatic compared