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Home grown utility and tractor manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra will launch an electric scooter named Genze in the US by the middle of this year. This is the first attempt by the Mumbai-based company to foray in the US market under the two-wheeler banner.
A local Mahindra outfit headquartered in Palo Alto, California had showcased the electric scooter at the Santa Monica Altcar Expo in September last year to test the responses. The vehicle complete with the M&M logo, looks radically different than its peers with utility being kept high on the list.
The single seater, lithium-ion battery-powered scooter comes with a seven-inch weather proof touch screen as its instrument panel, has bluetooth-enabled control center that monitors the charge status, range, diagnostic and route and even has under-seat cell phone and laptop chargers. It will come with disc brakes as standard.
The Genze, conceived in the Silicon Valley, is engineered, tested and assembled in the US. After its fruitless exit from the US market a few years ago when it planned to commercially launch its newly developed range of pick-ups based on the Scorpio platform, this is considered to be M&M biggest come back plan.
The company has been selling a range of tractors in the US market for several years. Though M&M has not disclosed pricing details of the Genze yet but local US reports state that it could be priced at about $3000 (Rs 180,000). The two-wheeler, which will be built at Ann Arbor, Michigan, is expected to have a top-speed of nearly 50kmph.
Back home in India electric vehicles (two and four wheelers) have been a disaster. Despite rising oil prices Indian buyers have shown near negligible interest in electric motor driven vehicles though they cost less than one-sixth the expected price of the Genze.
Mahindra's very own electric car under the co-brand Reva has failed to attract buyers thanks to its high price tag. Less than feasible battery power has rendered electric bikes and cars impractical in India with several of such companies closing shop recently.