Mahindra secures second supply, as MEB components are delayed
Mahindra has signed a deal with BYD to supply the battery for the upcoming EV models. The motor will come from French company Valeo. This, even though the Indian carmaker was to use MEB components from Volkswagen – who is apparently behind schedule.
The news was first reported by Indian Autocar Professional, who says that the cooperation with Volkswagen to use battery cells with LFP chemistry and the electric motor from the MEB “has run into delays,” and the German carmaker will not be able to deliver the components “before 2026 or 2027.” Mahindra therefore broadened its supplier basis.
BYD will thus supply the 60 and 80 kWh batteries for the upcoming Mahindra EVs based on the Inglo platform, set to launch next year. It also adds this deal holds “until VW is ready with its next-generation ‘unified’ cell technology.” VW will probably not yet produce LFP cells in 2024, because production of the VW unified cell will start with NMC cathodes and will only then be expanded for the MEB small cars by LFP production from the battery factory under construction in Sagunt near Valencia.
A year ago, Volkswagen and Mahindra had signed an agreement for the supply of MEB components for Mahindra’s new all-electric vehicle platform Inglo, according to which five electric SUV models from Mahindra with a volume of more than one million units were to be equipped with MEB components from 2024. But it is a non-exclusive arrangement, so the carmaker continued talks with BYD, Autocar Professional reports, citing insiders.
By the way, the Chinese battery maker was always supposed to deliver the larger 80 kWh battery for the ‘Born Electric’ EVs, as VW does not have an 80 kWh option. Because of the delays, BYD will now deliver both battery sizes for now.
That Mahindra relies on several suppliers is also due to past experience. LG Chem was supposed to supply pouch cells with NMC532 cathodes for the XUV400 model. Since the production of this relatively older cell chemistry was discontinued, the Koreans could not provide the necessary quantities. Mahindra had to look for a new supplier and switched to Farasis, which offers a similar design.
It is unknown whether VW will still be able to supply batteries and motors in 2026/2027. Mahindra could thus secure the desired second supplier – some development work has already been done, and the components seem compatible. However, as there has apparently already been dissatisfaction in the relationship with the German company and VW cannot deliver at the end of 2024, it seems at least possible that the Indians will continue their search for a second supplier for batteries and electric motors.
This is not Volkswagen’s first project to supply MEB components to other carmakers that has hit a snag: Ford postponed the market launch of its Cologne-built MEB-based electric model Explorer by around half a year, previously planned for early 2024. It also wants to install a different battery and not the one from VW’s MEB.