Mahindra to leverage on Formula E learning for electric cars

New Delhi :Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra is working to apply the learnings from Formula E racing on its electric cars as it looks to ride on rising awareness for eco-friendly vehicles.

The company, which has bagged large orders for its electric cars from taxi aggregators in Bengaluru and the Capital, is hopeful that 2016 will mark the “taking off” for electric mobility in India riding on government support and popularisation through the world championship racing of electric cars, Formula E.

“Our hope is that through the racing we will be able to bring technologies to our road cars. It is a gradual thing,” Mahindra & Mahindra Executive Director Pawan Goenka told PTI.

He, however, hastened to add that it is a long process and not something that would happen in a year as what goes into racing cars are too expensive to come immediately to road cars.

Bullish on the growth of electric vehicles in India, Goenka said taxi aggregators have also shown interest and the company has bagged order for 100 e20 electric car from a firm called Lithium in Bengaluru and for 50 e-Verito sedans from a separate entity.

“This is slowly going to build now. Once the visibility comes in, more and more people will opt for the electric vehicles (EVs). I am hoping that 2016 is the year when EVs really take off in India,” Goenka said.

A combination of factors, such as government support and push for EVs, awareness after the success of Formula E racing and the company’s own efforts to popularise would help in raising demand for such eco-friendly vehicles.

Commenting on Formula E, he said it has picked up really well globally with packed stands on race days which has also resulted in increased awareness of EVs.

“In India there is no race (Formula E)but there is a lot of TV viewership. I believe India could have a race, that will be a really good thing,” Goenka said, adding that for M&M the racing series is about “a fairly large brand play with global coverage” besides all the technological learnings.