Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

mahindra hybrid suv featured

Mahindra Automotive, as we all know, is betting big on the future with electric mobility. However, recently it has highlighted that it is ready to enter the hybrid vehicle market if consumer demand surges. According to Managing Director Anish Shah, Mahindra is strategically ready to launch hybrid technology despite its current emphasis on electric vehicles (EVs).

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

Mahindra Ready to Launch Hybrids

While speaking at the company’s Q4 earnings call, Shah stated that Mahindra views hybrids as an extension of ICE. He stated, “It’s a slightly different powertrain. And to the extent that it’s required, we’ll be ready with that. If there’s a significant change in hybrid technology that causes it to be much more like an EV, then that’s something we’ll move into much faster.”

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

He added, “At this point, we feel good about our focus on EVs. We’ll be ready for hybrids. We’re looking at the hybrid technologies closely and we’ll continue to act upon it.” Anish Shah also mentioned, “I know there’s been a lot of debate on hybrids, but government incentives are typically to enable an industry to transition to a place that’s better for the economy. Electric vehicles (EVs) have no emissions. They have got much lower fuel import because they don’t use fuel.”

No Tax Cuts for Hybrids

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed
Mild Hybrid Tech

The above-mentioned statement from Shah aligns with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent decision to maintain the current Goods and Services Tax (GST) on hybrid vehicles. As per the reports, Sitharaman’s stance is to prioritize the promotion of EVs over hybrids. The government is aiming to accelerate the shift towards cleaner energy solutions and reduce pollution levels.

Earlier, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari proposed that the finance ministry should significantly lower GST on hybrids from 48% to 12%. Gadkari argued that hybrids, being cleaner than ICE vehicles and partially electrically operated, deserved tax concessions to boost adoption.

Mahindra’s EV Ambitions

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

While hybrids remain on the radar, Mahindra’s primary focus is on expanding its EV lineup. The company is investing heavily in its “Born Electric” platform and the XUV range. This is being done to capture a substantial share of the growing EV market.

This strategy places Mahindra in direct competition with Tata Motors. As we all know, Tata Motors is currently the largest EV carmaker in India. Like Mahindra, it is also betting big on EV technology. Both companies have already committed significant resources to developing electric vehicles.

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

On the other side of the spectrum, the country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, along with its strategic partner Toyota, is leading the hybrid vehicle segment. Toyota currently holds a commanding 78% market share. These companies are banking on hybrids as a transitional technology, expecting them to gain traction before the full-scale adoption of EVs. Along with these, Kia and Hyundai are also betting on hybrid cars.

Hybrids vs. EVs

In the upcoming period, we will be witnessing a competitive battle between hybrids and EVs. The upcoming influx of hybrid vehicles and new electric vehicles will offer consumers more choices. Both of these alternative-fueled vehicles have their advantages and disadvantages. So if you are interested in knowing them, here they are.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Hybrids Advantages

Strong hybrids offer better fuel efficiency than traditional ICE vehicles. They also produce lower emissions. Currently, they are acting as a transitional technology and are easing the shift towards greener vehicles. If they are taxed at a lower rate, they can become better alternatives to ICE vehicles.

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

Hybrids Disadvantages

At the moment, due to unfair taxation, strong hybrids are more expensive. They are also more expensive to produce due to the dual powertrains involved. They also offer only marginal environmental benefits compared to EVs.

EVs Advantages

The main advantage of an EV is that it has zero tailpipe emissions. This can help in significantly reducing pollution. They also lower the dependence on fuel imports. And currently, they benefit from various government incentives.

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

EVs Disadvantages

EVs are currently very expensive in the country due to the high cost of manufacturing batteries. They also are limited by the lack of charging infrastructure in the country. Additionally, EVs cause their owners to suffer from range anxiety.

Hybrid Sales Figures

Mahindra MD: Ready To Launch Hybrid SUVs When Needed

As per the reports from 2023, hybrid car sales in India increased from 0.5% of the market to 2%. The carmakers in India, in total, sold 82,606 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Reportedly, in September, October, and November of 2023, hybrid car sales even surpassed electric vehicle (EV) sales.

It has also been reported that globally, as well, hybrid car sales have increased by 46 percent on a year-on-year basis. This sales growth is for the first three months of 2024. On the other hand, in the same period, EVs managed to only grow by 18 percent on a year-on-year basis.