Mahindra is not a household name in the United States, but the Indian automaker has a long history of making rugged vehicles for its home market and beyond. Now, Mahindra is looking to enter the electric-car arena with the BE 05 concept, a stylish and practical city car that debuted at the Auto Expo in New Delhi.
The Mahindra BE 05 concept is based on the Mahindra e2o, a small electric hatchback that has been sold in India since 2013. The e2o was originally developed by Reva, an electric-car startup that Mahindra acquired in 2010. The BE 05 concept takes the basic shape of the e2o and adds some flair, with a sleeker front end, LED headlights and taillights, and a two-tone paint scheme.
The interior of the BE 05 concept is also more upscale than the e2o, with a digital instrument cluster, a large touchscreen infotainment system, and a rotary gear selector. The concept also features a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, and smartphone wireless charging. The cabin can seat four adults comfortably, thanks to the compact dimensions of the electric powertrain.
Speaking of which, Mahindra did not disclose any details about the battery or motor of the BE 05 concept, but it did claim that the car can travel up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) on a single charge. That’s more than enough for urban driving, and Mahindra also said that the concept can be fast-charged to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
Mahindra has not confirmed if the BE 05 concept will go into production, but it seems logical for the company. Mahindra already has some experience with electric vehicles in India and abroad. In addition to the e2o, Mahindra also sells the eVerito sedan and the eSupro van in India, and it owns Pininfarina. This Italian design house recently launched its own electric hypercar, the Battista.
Mahindra also has a presence in the U.S., where it sells tractors and off-road utility vehicles under its own brand name. The company has also partnered with Ford to develop new models for emerging markets, which could include electric vehicles. Mahindra has expressed interest in entering the U.S. passenger-car market in the past, but it has faced legal challenges from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over its Roxor off-roader, which FCA claims infringes on its Jeep trademark.
The BE 05 concept could be a good way for Mahindra to introduce itself to American consumers who are looking for an affordable and eco-friendly city car. The concept has a lot of appeal, with its modern design, spacious interior, and decent range. It also shows that Mahindra is serious about electrification and innovation, which are key factors for success in today’s automotive industry.
The BE 05 concept is one of several electric vehicles that Mahindra showcased at the Auto Expo, along with an electric version of its XUV300 crossover and a hydrogen fuel-cell version of its Treo three-wheeler. These vehicles demonstrate that Mahindra is not afraid to experiment with different technologies and segments and that it has a vision for a greener future.
Mahindra may not be well-known in the U.S., but it is one of the largest automakers in India and a global player in various fields. The Mahindra BE 05 is a testament to Mahindra’s capabilities and ambitions, and it deserves more attention from car enthusiasts and buyers alike.