Ashok Leyland is ready to work hard to be among the top 10 CV brands. By tying up with Switch Mobility, the company can do something amazing in India by December.
Ashok Leyland starts focusing on EVs
Commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland on Wednesday set its electric vehicle (EV) road map to aim to become one of the top 10 CV brands in the world. The company’s EV push will be done through UK-based Switch Mobility, a joint entity between Ashok Leyland’s electric CV operations and the erstwhile UK-based Optare. Switch Mobility will launch its first Electric Light Commercial Vehicle (e-LCV) in India by the end of December; It has secured 2,000 orders.
These vehicles will be manufactured in India and sold under the Switch brand. The group plans to invest $150-200 million in the EV sector over the next few years. Ashok Leyland on Wednesday said it has invested about $136 million in Switch Mobility and expects the new entity to raise its capital in the future.
Ashok Leyland and Switch Mobility chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said, “Investors and strategic partners are looking forward to forging alliances. In such a situation, we do not see the need for immediate funds from Ashok Leyland. It was in 2013 that Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland first showed interest in the EV space by acquiring British bus manufacturer Optare Plc, while it had rolled out EV plans in India three years earlier. The company already has the expertise – it has over 280 EVs in service with over 26 million miles on a test basis.
Earlier on Wednesday, the management roped in leading investors from India and London to showcase the growth opportunity and said that Switch Mobility will play a key role in shaping the commercial e-mobility space on the global space.
Hinduja clarified that the company will focus on its buses and light vehicles in the EV space and will not venture into e-cars. The global electric bus market is expected to reach around $70 billion by 2030. The new unit will target India and the UK. The company’s strategy is to use India as a manufacturing hub to utilize its existing facilities in the country, in addition to its facility in Leeds.
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