Mahindra opts for electric drives from Valeo
The electric drivetrain commissioned by Mahindra comprises an electric motor, inverter, transmission and bidirectional power electronics. Valeo does not specify the system in more detail. The electric drives will be produced near the Mahindra plant in Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Mahindra signed a deal with Valeo in August since it expects significant delays in the supply of MEB components from Volkswagen.
Valeo says the total order amounts to “close to 1 billion dollars.” There is no information on the quantity or time frame. The deal has been signed for some time, as Valeo states that the order has already been included in the results for the third quarter.
Xavier Dupont, President of the Valeo Powertrain Systems Business Group, says that the solutions developed and manufactured locally by his company will help Mahindra & Mahindra to offer higher voltage and longer range electric vehicles to Indian customers. “This partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra is a major step forward for Valeo in the Indian EV market.” Investments will be made to localise the production of this new order in India.
“The collaboration with Valeo is in alignment with our “Born Electric” vision. Valeo’s electrification technology compliments our purpose-built INGLO platform, which serves as the backbone of Mahindra’s EV architecture and its human-machine interface,” said R Velusamy, President – Automotive Technology and Product Development, Mahindra & Mahindra. The partnership is an important step towards fulfilling the commitment to provide sustainable and innovative mobility solutions, not just in India but globally.”
The “Born Electric” vehicles are based on the aforementioned Inglo EV platform from Mahindra but rely on the electric drive and battery system supply. According to earlier information, Mahindra provides the chassis, bodywork and interior, including infotainment. Mahindra had previously founded two brands called XUV and BE for the vehicles based on the Inglo EV. The models are named XUV.e8, XUV.e9, BE.05, BE.07 and BE.09. According to earlier statements, the first four of these electric SUVs will launch between 2024 and 2026 – and are also destined for global markets.
Mahindra said at the end of 2022 that it would build a site in Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra to manufacture electric vehicles. The supplier was supposed to be Volkswagen with the MEB modular system. However, as VW will probably not be able to supply some components until later, BYD and Valeo are apparently stepping in.
Volkswagen and Mahindra had signed a term sheet in the summer of 2022 for the supply of MEB components for Mahindra’s Inglo vehicle platform, 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. Autocar Professional reported in August, citing insiders, of considerable delays. The report said that Volkswagen will not deliver the battery cells and electric motors to Mahindra before 2026 or 2027.
Mahindra will thus equip its new electric models with battery cells from BYD and electric motors from Valeo from the start. BYD will supply its LFP cells for the two planned battery packs with 60 and 80 kWh. The 60 kWh pack was originally to come from Volkswagen. VW is now only due to supply its unit cells with LFP chemistry to Mahindra from 2026 or 2027. However, the first Mahindra model based on the Inglo platform, the XUV.e8, will be launched at the end of 2024.
There are two main reasons for the (temporary) switch to a pure BYD supply. Firstly, Volkswagen will probably not yet be producing LFP cells in 2024, as production of the VW unit cell will start with NMC cathodes and will only then be expanded for the MEB small cars to include LFP production from the battery factory under construction in Sagunt near Valencia. On the other hand, VW will not be able to realise an 80 kWh option with its technology in the existing installation space in the Mahindra vehicles.