M&M Inks JV with Jio-BP for EV business
You can call it a collaboration between two industrial giants in India. On the one side there is the Reliance group with its unwavering and aggressive commitment to green energy. On the other side, there is the Mahindra & Mahindra Group which is betting big on low-carbon and electrical vehicles that are more attuned to green energy norms. Now for the collaboration.
Reliance BP Mobility Limited, which operates under the Jio-BP brand has announced an agreement with the Mahindra Group. The intent of the association would be to explore the creation of a suite of EV products and services. In addition, the collaboration of Jio-BP and Mahindra group will also work out synergies in low-carbon fuels.
One important area of association between Jio-BP and Mahindra will be for e-charging of M&M vehicles. The collaboration will look at Jio-BP charging solutions for a broad range of Mahindra manufactured vehicles, which will include electric 3-wheelers, electric 4-wheelers, quadricycles etc. While Reliance has a strong franchise in the area of green fuels, M&M has a strong franchise in future-ready vehicles.
For Mahindra, the big hitch in expanding its EV franchise has been the supportive infrastructure like charging stations and swapping points. Under this collaboration, Mahindra group will not only utilize the existing Jio-BP stations of Reliance group, but also collaborate for setting up of such charging and swapping points on behalf of Reliance group. Jio-BP is currently offering this multiple fueling choice in Maharashtra.
While the broad gist of the association will pertain to Jio-BP providing charging and swapping solutions for Mahindra vehicles, they are also looking at scalable models. Both companies are exploring running this association based on Mobility as a Service (MaaS) model and Battery as a Service (BaaS) model. This has generally proven a more scalable approach to such collaborations.
Companies like Tata Motors are already betting heavily on electrical vehicles (EV) to take over 25-30% of their auto portfolios over the next 5-7 years. Of course, the big challenge has been to have the requisite charging and swapping infrastructure for the aggressive growth of EVs that is being planned.
In most countries where EVs have picked up, the key to supportive infrastructure is the Swapping Station.
Here, customers can drive in with a depleted battery to the nearest swapping station and quickly drive out with a fully charged battery for a very nominal fee. Needless to say, if Indian companies have to get close to their net-zero carbon targets over the next decade, the key lies in a robust EV infrastructure at the base.
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