Utility and tractor vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra has inaugurated a factory and a research centre for electric two-wheelers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US.
With an initial capacity to produce 9,000 vehicles annually, the plant will assemble its first electric two-wheeler later this year; the capacity can be increased to 20,000 a year later. The company did not disclose the investment for setting up the two units.
Christened Genze, it is the first electric vehicle from the company after it entered the two-wheeler segment in 2008.
In a few months, M&M will launch the scooter in the US. The company says it will give a top speed of 48 kilometres an hour and a range of 48 km on a full charge.
M&M has not said how much the Genze would cost, though certain reports expect it to be around $3,000 (Rs 1.8 lakh), about six times the price for the e-bike sold in India, with higher top speed and greater range.
Genze will be the first its kind in the US. Owning or using the vehicle will not require a licence in most states there, the Mumbai-based company said.
Anand Mahindra, chairman, said, "The North American Technical Center and Genze represent important disruptive product incubators for the Mahindra group."
A single-seater and powered by a lithium-ion battery, the Genze comes with a seven-inch weatherproof touchscreen instrument panel. It also has an under-seat cellphone and laptop charger. The Genze was conceived in the Silicon Valley and tested & assembled in the US.