As India hopes to see electric mobility become the norm in coming decades, Anand Mahindra reminisced about an electric vehicle from the last millennium. The Chairman of Mahindra group posted a tweet on Thursday about Bijlee, an electric three-wheeler developed by Mahindra back in 1999.
The tweet read: "Mahesh Babu of @MahindraElctrc fished this out from the archives. Very few know we launched an electric 3wheeler called 'Bijlee' back in 1999. Conceptualised by S.V.Nagarkar,here in the pic. Didn't work out financially but we learned a lot & renewed our commitment to promote EVs!"
Mahesh Babu of @MahindraElctrc fished this out from the archives. Very few know we launched an electric 3wheeler called ‘Bijlee’ back in 1999. Conceptualised by S.V.Nagarkar,here in the pic. Didn’t work out financially but we learned a lot & renewed our commitment to promote EVs! pic.twitter.com/K705yDWmHS— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) November 21, 2019
Back in the day, Mahindra group had partnered with Delhi government in 1998-99 to conceptualise and launch the 10-seater electric three-wheeler Bijlee. Mahindra undertook two pilot projects to test the viability of Bijlee, one in Delhi in August 1999 and another in Mumbai in September 2000. It was officially launched in Delhi in 2002 and was known to be popular among traders in Connaught Place.
The Bijlee came with a range of 80-90 kilometers on a single charge. The electric vehicle was priced at Rs 3.32 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) at the time of launch. Mahindra even exported Bijlees to Nepal. The running cost for Bijlee was very low, with reports claiming that the life-time cost per passenger came out to be a mere 48 paise.
In commercial space, Mahindra currently has a five-seater e-rickshaw called e-ALFA Mini. Mahindra also offers e20 Plus and eVerito in the electric passenger vehicle segment.