India's First Formula E Car 'Enters The Race' To Build Affordable, Battery-Powered Vehicle
Indian automobile manufacturing company Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and the FIA’s Formula E racing series "are strange bedfellows," according to John D. Stoll of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Mahindra is India’s biggest sport-utility seller and "best known in the U.S. for its small tractors." Mahindra is one of the first auto makers "to have invested millions into participating in the series." The move is "less about racking up victories, and more about preparing" to take a "big step in a higher-stakes game." In the race to create a more viable global electric-car market, Mahindra "wants to be the low-cost answer" to Tesla Motors, Inc. Mahindra’s $10,000 e2o is the "only pure battery-operated car built in India." Mahindra President Pawan Goenka: "Mahindra is eager to become a global brand. If we were to do it through electric vehicles, it may be an easier thing than to come through the mainstream." The move to mature markets "will be challenging and could be costly." Goenka has had "lackluster support from the Indian government" and there is little local competition, so he needs Formula E to "help him navigate potential potholes" (WSJ, 3/18).