This story appears in the October 2023 issue of Forbes Asia. Subscribe to Forbes Asia

This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of India’s Richest 2023. See the full list here.

As Tesla prepares to set up its first factory in India, local automakers are ramping up their EV efforts. Anand Mahindra, chairman of automobiles-to-hospitality conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra, is accelerating the company’s push into electric SUVs with plans to invest $1.2 billion over the next seven years. In August, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings agreed to pay $145 million for a small stake in Mahindra Electric Automobile, valuing the company’s EV subsidiary at close to $10 billion.

The Mumbai-based group, the country’s largest maker of SUVs (by revenue), started selling its first electric SUV, the XUV 400, in January this year, notching up 10,000 bookings for the vehicle over a single weekend. Its Born Electric range of SUVs is still in the works. Production of this range is expected to start next year with five models expected to hit the market by 2027.

The automaker, which is aiming for green SUVs to account for between 20% and 30% of its total SUV sales by 2027, is setting up a new factory in its home state of Maharashtra in western India. This is expected to manufacture 200,000 EVs annually by 2027. The company is already India’s leading maker of electric three-wheelers, with a market share of more than 65%, and is now increasing production by expanding its tractor factory in the southern state of Telangana to make electric three-wheelers starting next year.

Mahindra is playing catch-up with rival Tata Motors, the country’s largest producer of electric cars with four electric models and a more than 70% market share. It’s still early days in India as EVs account for only 2% of total cars sold in the country but the government has set a target of increasing this to 30% by 2030. “The EV race in India has just started,” says Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India, a monthly auto magazine. “The biggest problem is that the charging infrastructure is not yet in place,” he adds.

Bolstered by record sales of SUVs and tractors, the flagship reported a 34% jump in revenue to a record 1.2 trillion rupees ($14.5 billion) and net profit soared 56% to 10.3 billion rupees in the year ended March 31. That helped boost Mahindra’s fortune by 18% to $2.6 billion.


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