In a bid to harness cutting-edge technology for its upcoming electric vehicles, Mahindra, the renowned German auto giant, is exploring a partnership with Volkswagen Group to leverage components from the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform. The MEB, known for its open vehicle architecture for electric vehicles (EVs), has also piqued the interest of other manufacturers, including Skoda, as they seek to electrify their lineups.
Volkswagen Group confirmed that it is currently engaged in advanced discussions with Mahindra regarding the potential collaboration. The central focus of this partnership is to drive down the cost of batteries, a critical factor in making electric vehicles more accessible to the masses.
Mahindra recently unveiled the Thar.e Concept electric vehicle, based on the INGLO-P1 EV architecture. This innovative platform is set to power the five electric SUVs that Mahindra showcased on August 15, 2022. It boasts battery options ranging from 60 kWh to 80 kWh capacity, with the remarkable capability of fast-charging up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes.
While specific details about the Thar.e electric SUV concept's battery and electric powertrain remain undisclosed, industry experts anticipate a 60 kWh battery pack. This pack is expected to distribute power to dual motors situated on each axle, enabling an all-wheel-drive configuration. The inclusion of a 4X4 drivetrain is also anticipated, enhancing the vehicle's off-road capabilities.
Furthermore, reports indicate that Volkswagen and Skoda are actively strategizing to introduce affordable electric vehicles based on the MEB platform. These automakers are reportedly developing a model underpinned by the MEB21G platform, with an estimated price point as low as $27,000 upon launch.
Remarkably, this move comes at a time when no European car manufacturer currently offers electric vehicles in the Indian market, indicating a significant shift towards electrification in the region. The collaboration between Mahindra and Volkswagen, along with the ambitions of Skoda, could mark a transformative moment in India's electric vehicle landscape, making eco-friendly transportation more accessible to a broader audience.