Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) today announced that signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) with Jio-bp - the mobility joint venture between Reliance Industries and UK's bp plc, to explore the creation of electric vehicles (EV) products and services. As part of the non-binding deal, the leading automotive manufacturer will evaluate Jio-bp's charging and battery swapping technology for its electric three- and four-wheelers, as well as quadricycles and small commercial vehicles.
The partnership will also explore business models such as mobility as a service (MaaS), battery as a service (BaaS) to expedite the EV adoption in the country. The companies will identify synergies in low-carbon and conventional fuels, according to a regulatory filing by Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) to the stock exchanges today.
The deal also proposes to explore the orientation of database for electric vehicles, operations support systems, software, pilot and commercial-scale business model and types of charging and swapping facilities. These will be implemented subject to techno-economic feasibility and necessary approvals.
Mahindra Group and its channel partner locations will be evaluated for setting up of Jio-bp mobility stations and EV charging and swapping points apart from utilizing the existing Jio-bp stations, as part of the deal. Jio-bp recently launched its first mobility station in Maharashtra, offering multiple fueling choices, including EV charging infrastructure.
Currently, electric vehicles make up only a fraction of the country's auto sales, mainly due to high battery costs and the lack of charging infrastructure. The partnership seeks to strengthen the EV infrastructure with high-performance and swappable batteries.
The solutions would offer convenience to customers who can bring in a depleted battery to their nearest swapping station and within minutes move on with fully charged batteries by paying a nominal fee. This will contribute towards achieving India's net-zero emissions goals faster.
In October, Jio-bp said that it had started offering services for charging and battery swapping for electric vehicles in India.
Mahindra seeks to boost its EV business and has been considering raising funds or carving it out as a separate unit. The company expects electric vehicles to account for about 20 per cent of its volumes in India by 2027.
On Wednesday, December 8, shares of M&M settled 1.83 per cent higher at Rs 840.65 apiece on the BSE.