India's Mahindra Group (M&M) and fuel retailer Reliance BP Mobility (RBML) on Wednesday said they will combine efforts to develop electric vehicle (EV) products and related services, in addition to exploring synergies in low-carbon and conventional fuels.
The two sides have inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will also examine charging solutions for Mahindra’s EVs, including the latter’s small commercial vehicles (e-SCVs) that can transport up to four tonnes of cargo.
EV products and related services
“The partnership aims to leverage the strengths of both companies in the areas of EV products and services”, Mahindra & Mahindra said in an 8 December stock market statement. “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 existing Jio-bp stations”, it added.
Additionally, the parties will explore business models like mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and battery-as-a-service (BaaS), wherein Jio-bp could provide charging solutions to vehicles manufactured by Mahindra.
RBML, a joint venture between refining giant Reliance Industries (RIL) and the UK’s BP Plc, sells regular and premium-quality automotive fuels in the sub-continent, under the ‘Jio-bp’ brand name. It recently opened its first mobility station in the western Maharashtra state, which offers multiple fuelling choices, including EV charging points.
Environment-friendly cars and bikes
M&M's rival, JLR-parent Tata Motors dominates the domestic four-wheeler EV segment for the moment, with the electric-versions of its Nexon SUV and Tigor sedan.
Meanwhile, about a dozen companies, including several well-funded start-ups like Softbank Group-backed Ola Electric, have rolled out electric scooters and motorbikes in the country.
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In October, Tata Motors said it raised INR75bn ($993.7m), from TPG's Rise Climate Fund and Abu Dhabi’s state holding company ADQ, to expand its eco-friendly mobility business, valued at $9.1bn.
In September, two-wheeler major TVS Motor Company acquired a majority stake in Swiss electric-bike brand EGO Movement, a maker of e-scooters, e-bikes and e-cargo bikes.