Mahindra & Mahindra is to trial 100 electric vehicles including its Treo three-wheeler and e-Supro passenger vehicle in a mobility service in Thane, near Mumbai.

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Image: Mahindra Electric

The India carmaker has signed a memorandum of understanding with the city’s municipal corporation for the five-year project, which will focus on last-mile and end-to-end mobility, with the aim to build an ecosystem and to transition to more sustainable commuting.

The Thane project will involve the deployment of an integrated platform to manage vehicles, their daily movements, and drivers, with different vehicle types offered to citizens for booking on a single app. The municipality will support by providing parking spaces for the EVs and locations for charging stations, and liaise with stakeholders such as utility companies.

The Treo [pictured] is offered to customers with options including cloud-based connectivity and remote monitoring, i.e. for fleet management and optimisation, and is thus ready-equipped for deployment on a shared fleet.

On-demand in Delhi

The company’s Mahindra Electric division, which manufactures EVs including the recently-launched Treo and the e20plus city car, is also running a last-mile on-demand service trial in Delhi in partnership with fleet operator SmartE. This will involve 1000 Treo and Treo Yaari (rickshaw) models in a low-cost scheme.

Mahesh Babu, CEO, Mahindra Electric, said at the launch of the plan: “India is witnessing rapid urbanization and metros [metropolitan areas] are driving the multi-modal mobility needs of the large working population in urban cities. Our Treo range of three wheelers will address the demand for first and last mile connectivity and transform the way urban India travels. Associations with partners such as SmartE will make it easier to adopt electric mobility and enable our cities to be more environmentally friendly.”

SmartE already has ongoing partnerships with organizations including the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, and delivers nearly 80,000 commuter rides a day; it claims to be India’s largest electric vehicle operator, and intends to roll out 100,000 EVs by 2022. The Delhi partnership with Mahindra will ramp it up to 2000 vehicles by March 2019, serving an aimed 200,000 commuters a day.

Tech Mahindra announces AI center with H2O.ai

The global Mahindra Group now operates in a variety of sectors in 100 countries, and its investment in technology in India continues to grow. Recent announcements include the establishment of a center of excellence for artificial intelligence in New Delhi, a partnership between its digital transformation consultancy Tech Mahindra and H2O.ai, a Silicon Valley-based open source software platform provider. This will look at machine learning for data analysis; a data science platform will be developed for industries including banking, healthcare, communications, retail and manufacturing, to be offered at an “accessible” price.

Jagdish Mitra, chief strategy and marketing officer, Tech Mahindra, said in a statement: “The need of the hour is to democratize knowledge in AI and make it accessible to everyone. Through our partnership with H2O.ai, we aim to empower our customers to use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to increase access to AI talent, drive better decision-making, and accomplish tasks at a faster pace.”