India's Mahindra & Mahindra to invest $1.44 billion in EV arm; explores hybrid tech

An employee works inside the Mahindra & Mahindra manufacturing plant in Chakan

By Meenakshi Maidas and Nandan Mandayam

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra said on Thursday it would invest $1.44 billion over the next three years in its electric vehicle (EV) unit to boost growth, even though it is now also closely looking at hybrid technology.

Mahindra, India's third-biggest EV maker, currently sells just one model, the XUV400, but it is slated to launch a new range of EVs next year.

The carmaker, known for its 'Scorpio' and 'Thar' sport utility vehicles (SUVs), expects electric variants to form 20% to 30% of its SUV sales by 2027.

"At this point in time, we feel good about the focus on EVs," Mahindra Managing Director Anish Shah said in a post-earnings press conference.

However, "if it's (hybrids) required, we'll be ready for that ... If there are significant changes in hybrid tech that cause it to be much more like an EV, then that's something we'll move into much faster," he added.

Automakers are increasingly diversifying their strategy to look beyond EVs and Shah's comments come less than a month after Reuters reported that the Hyundai Motor Group plans to launch its first hybrid cars in India as early as 2026.

Hybrids - which use a gasoline powertrain and electric motor - and EVs contributed 2% each to India's overall passenger vehicle sales in fiscal year 2024.

Earlier in the day, Mahindra topped quarterly profit estimates on steady sales of its SUVs.

Shares of the company rose as much as 4% to a record high, before paring some gains to close up 3%.

($1 = 83.4711 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Meenakshi Maidas, Nandan Mandayam and Varun Hebbalalu in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K, Sonia Cheema and Ravi Prakash Kumar)