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An all-electric Ford Aspire is set to be launched in India. It is not the compact sedan that we are used to seeing on our roads, but is a full-size sedan and this will be the first co-developed model coming from the partnership between Ford and Mahindra.
Mahindra and Ford signed a memorandum of understanding in 2017 and finally announced the partnership and the areas it would cover earlier this year. The partnership included sharing of vehicle platforms, engines, electric powertrain technology, connectivity options and equipment. The first product from the partnership has clearly made use of electric powertrain technology sharing.
Mahindra has had lots of experience in the production of electric vehicles. The company has sold thousands of electric vehicles till date and this includes the eVerito, eSupro, e2O, etc. Ford on the other hand does not have any electric vehicles under development for the Indian market and hence made use of Mahindra's expertise in the field.
Autocar posted an image of a full-size Ford Aspire sedan and claimed to have driven the prototype of the electric car. The full-size Ford Aspire powered by petrol and diesel engines is sold in various international markets. However, the Ford Aspire sold in India is a compact sedan because Ford wanted to keep the taxes low.
The Indian Government levies higher taxes on vehicles measuring over 4 metres in length. The Ford Aspire sold in India measures 3,995mm, which is just 5mm short of the 4,000mm cap the government has set. This way, Ford was able to price the Aspire right for the Indian market.
However, when it comes to electric cars, the government has not prescribed taxes based on the length of the car. GST on all electric cars is set at 12 percent irrespective of the length of the vehicle or body style or segment. Hence, Ford has decided to give its buyers maximum value-for-money with a full size sedan.
The Ford Aspire compact sedan measures 3,995mm in length, 1,704mm in width and 1,525mm in height. The full-size Ford Aspire on the other hand measures 4,254mm in length, 1,695mm in width and 1,525mm in height. As a result of this, boot space has increased from 359 litres to 445 litres.
No details about the drivetrain have been divulged yet. Ford would not pick up the drivetrain from the Mahindra eVerito simply because the electric version of the Aspire sedan will be positioned higher up. Hence we believe that the Ford Aspire EV will be powered by the drivetrain Mahindra has developed for its own upcoming electric sedan and SUV.
The drivetrain will make use of a 380V Nickel Manganese Cobalt battery pack, driving an electric motor with a power output of 50kW (67bhp). It will drive the front wheels and give the Ford Aspire EV a range of just over 150 kilometres. Top speed is said to be in the range of 110km/h.
Thoughts On Upcoming Ford Aspire EV To Use Mahindra Electric Drivetrain
Automobile markets all over the world are heading towards electric cars and so is the Indian market. Mahindra and Tata are the only two car manufacturers that have been manufacturing electric cars for a while now.
Maruti Suzuki is expected to bring out the electric variant of the WagonR. All other manufacturers are expected to follow suit. Ford though has wisely used its partnership with Mahindra and has got access to EV powertrains developed by Mahindra.