| 12:27 AM EST

Mahindra to Hike EV Capacity Nearly Fivefold

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Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. says it will invest 10 billion rupees ($144 million) over three years to hike its annual capacity to make electric cars to 70,000 units from the current 15,000 vehicles.

The Indian SUV maker’s Mahindra Electric unit also will open a new EV r&d center in Bengaluru in 18 months. The 3.5 billion-rupee ($50 million) facility will focus on the development of batteries, motors and control electronics.

Mahindra Electric more than doubled its EV sales in India to about 10,300 units in the fiscal year ended March 31. This year the unit is broadening its focus to include shared mobility vehicles, specifically fleet vehicles and India’s three-wheeler jitney businesses.

In February Mahindra launched an alliance with South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. to develop nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries for Mahindra to make for its EVs. LG Chem also will design lithium-ion battery modules for Mahindra Electric. The venture expects to launch battery production in early 2020, eventually ramping up to annual output of 500,000 modules.

Separately, Mahindra Electric is developing electric powertrains to be shared with Mahindra’s SsangYong Motor Co. Korean affiliate.

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