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Ford & Mahindra to jointly develop Aspire based EV sedan

Written by Nizam Shaikh

As reported earlier, Ford and Mahindra have gone in a joint venture and they will soon be developing cars together. We also reported that with this joint venture, they will be developing an SUV together which will be codenamed ‘Project Black’. Now, according to a media report, the two companies are co-developing a Ford Aspire based electric sedan which is expected to be launched in 2020.

The electric vehicle (EV) Aspire is expected to be a full-sized sedan and not the compact sedan that Ford sells in the domestic market, which is a sub-4-metre car. The Aspire sedan is exported to various global markets such as South Africa from its Gujarat manufacturing facility located in Sanand. Both the compact sedan and the 4.2 metres sized sedan are manufactured alongside at the same plant, but Ford sells only the compact one in India due to tax benefit on the small version.

The tax benefit on the electric vehicles (EV) doesn’t apply for the length and all EVs pay a flat tax at the rate of 12%, hence the Aspire EV is expected to come with the 4.2-metre full sized version which will provide a bigger boot. The material cost between both the versions, compact and full-sized sedan, is negligible, according to a report. But in the Indian market, the longer car is perceived to be of a higher value.

The manufacturing of the car is expected to be divided between the two companies, where Ford will make the body shell and Mahindra Electric will provide the powertrain. In the test phase, the car is expected to be fitted with the eVerito’s 72V system but the production car is expected to get a more powerful motor and battery. The test phase will ensure the packaging of the electric motor, battery pack and controllers and its workability on the Aspire.

According to a media report, a high voltage system is being developed for the electric vehicle with a much more powerful motor and a larger capacity battery pack. The specification of the powertrain that is expected to go on the Aspire EV could be a 380V system which will have a 60kW (81.5 HP) motor connected to a 25kWh lithium-ion battery pack which is expected to do a real-world range of 150km, which Mahindra targets to extend the range to 200km.  

The electric vehicle will be sold by both the companies and some level of ‘Brand Engineering’ is expected with cosmetic changes to the car on the interior as well as exterior.

The electric vehicle is expected to qualify for the Government of India’s FAME II scheme and is expected to receive the subsidy for the same which will lower the final cost to the customer, to at least some extent. The car is expected to be priced at around the INR 15 lakh and will be targeted towards corporate fleet vehicle operators and eventually to consumers who want an EV for daily commutes.