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    Mahindra Electric to launch 3 electric vehicles in FY21; rules out stake sale

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    Mahindra Electric to launch 3 electric vehicles in FY21; rules out stake sale

    Despite COVID-19 and import disruptions due to Indo-China tensions, Mahindra Electric says it is committed to launching three new products in FY21. The company had sold a little over 14,000 electric vehicles last year.
    Mahindra’s electric vehicle subsidiary will launch the eKUV100, the Treo Zor and the Atom this fiscal. Encouraged by the demand for Treo eAuto and Treo Yaari eRickshaw, the company is now set to launch a load carrier, the Treo Zor by the end of the year.
    “There is high potential for an electric auto load carrier for e-commerce and last mile delivery. Therefore we are looking to launch Trio Zor, an electric load carrier by the end of this year”, said Mahesh Babu, MD and CEO of Mahindra Electric in an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18.  He said demand for electric autos is picking up and has almost recovered up to 40-50 percent of pre-COVID levels. The company would continue focusing on electric autos as they make economic sense for the customers, Babu said.
    He said the focus on three-wheelers would not come at the cost of other electric products. The company has not reduced but has deferred certain capital expenditures due to ongoing disruptions.
    “Our plan to launch the eKUV in Q1 has been postponed because of the lockdown. Looking for the right time to launch the eKUV100. Big cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi are still under restrictions. We will have to launch at a time when customers can freely use the vehicle”, said Babu.
    In February, Mahindra and Mahindra MD and CEO Pawan Goenka had told CNBC-TV18 that the company was eyeing a stake sale in Mahindra Electric. “Scale for EVs is very important and we would be subscale if we do everything on our own. To get larger volumes and reduce costs we need strategic investments. It is too early to talk about an IPO, we need to first work on profitability and bring down our stake”, he had said.
    But that view has changed and M&M now believes it is strategically important for it to have majority control in Mahindra Electric.
    “I am happy that Mahindra Electric was EBITDA positive in Q4. Mahindra is not looking to divest any stake in Mahindra Electric. We want to set up a new global R&D centre. We are looking for PE co-investors who can be a part of the journey but Mahindra and Mahindra will always be the majority stakeholder in Mahindra Electric. It is investing in the company this year as well”, said Babu.
    Babu also said that import disruption due to India-China tensions was temporary and India’s EV industry was poised for a recovery.
    “EV sector has localized much faster than the internal combustion engine industry. A lot of value addition has already gone into electric vehicles. Barring the battery cell almost all components of the Treo are made in India”, said Babu.
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