The collaboration between Mahindra & Mahindra and Ford Motor Company to develop electric vehicles has finally started to deliver results. The Indian auto company has reportedly helped in developing electric version of Ford Aspire, which will also be the cheapest electric car by the American car company anywhere in the world.
The Ford Aspire electric sedan is likely to arrive in the markets by next year, according to a report by the Times of India. The two companies are also working together to develop a SUV platform that will underpin vehicles to be included in portfolios of both Mahindra and Ford.
"Ford has gained tremendously from Mahindra's strength in electric vehicles technology. The Aspire will be the first to hit the roads and, unlike its existing petrol/diesel version, which is under four-metre in length, the electric variant will be a longer one. This is being developed jointly, and is an ambitious and bold step. The joint SUV project is at a very advanced stage and while there will be a joint platform, the design will be individual for both the companies in line with their brand philosophies," the report said while quoting a source.
While not much is known about what will go inside the hood of the electric Ford Aspire, nor is there an official confirmation about it from the companies, it is likely to borrow a lot from the Mahindra eVerito. The electric sedan from Mahindra stables sports a 72V induction motor with 200Ah battery, which is good for a range of 110km on a full charge. The battery pack features fast charging that can provide 80 per cent juice for less than two hours of charging time.
Mahindra & Mahindra and Ford Motor had entered into a partnership in September 2017 with the main focus on electric mobility. Both companies will work together for three years.
Mahindra partners with LG Chem for better Li-ion battery
Mahindra & Mahindra has joined hands with Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem for the development of a unique cell, exclusively for India. These new cells will be used in Mahindra and Ssangyong range of electric vehicles.
LG Chem will develop a unique cell for the India application, and will also supply Li-ion (lithium-ion) cells based on NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) chemistry with high-energy density, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) said in a release.
LG Chem will also design the Li-ion battery modules for Mahindra Electric, which in turn will create battery packs for the Mahindra Group and other consumers. "This association with LG Chem will give Mahindra the requisite access to advanced battery technology and will also enable us to deliver globally competitive products," said Hemant Sikka, President and Chief Purchase Officer, Mahindra & Mahindra.
In light of its investment plan announced in 2017, a battery module plant by Mahindra is also under development. The plant will have a capacity of half a million battery modules per annum and will also house a battery module pack line. The entire facility for both module and pack is expected to go into production in the last quarter of 2019-20.
(With PTI inputs)