In what can be said to be a very unexpected announcement, the automaker giant Volkswagen has partnered with Mahindra, Indian SUV major, to understand the achievability of using the German car makers components for Mahindra’s electric vehicles.
Mahindra plans to use components, from Volkswagen, such as: electric motors, battery system components and battery cells for its “Born Electric Platform”.
The MEB platform has been designed as an open vehicle platform, and its components allow car manufacturers to build their portfolio for electrified vehicles, quickly and cost effectively.
The two companies signed the agreement on Wednesday evening to explore the potential of such a collaboration. Negotiations and continued amendments of the deal, will carry on until the end of this year when the pair hope to produce a knock-out deal for the supply of components.
This deal comes as a surprise as Mahindra has been focusing on its own platforms for many years and was also closely associated with US Ford before both companies decided to go their separate ways in 2020.
Both companies share the same ambition and that its to electrify the Indian automotive market, which is one of the most important automotive growth markets and a key element in the global decarbonisation of the mobility sector.
India is in the Global Top-5 Automotive Markets, selling around three million vehicles per year. Predictions in the current forecast suggest that the market could grow up to five million vehicles by 2030. However, this market is dominated by vehicles with diesel or petrol engines.
Therefore, the partnership with Volkswagen along with the shared commitment to electrify the Indian market, presents a significant move towards zero-emission vehicles and is said to gain momentum in the current years.
Volkswagen Group Board of Management member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group components, Thomas Schmall has commented on the partnership saying:
“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.”
“It’s 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., stated:
“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 Vison. 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.”
The partnership is one step forward into a very exciting future for India’s commitment to 100% zero-emission vehicles from 2035 onwards. A goal that was promised at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference. We cannot wait to see what can come of such an exciting partnership.