Ashok Leyland, an India-based commercial vehicle manufacturer, is all set to venture into the EV space. Along with electric two-wheelers and electric passenger vehicles, India has a huge potential for commercial EVs. Chinese manufacturer BYD has also set foot in India with its electric buses. To establish its hold in the market, Ashok Leyland will be raising ₹500 crores to produce drivetrains for electric, CNG, and hydrogen commercial vehicles in the country. Also, it has vouched for a sum of $200 million (approx. ₹1,500 crores) via its UK-based subsidiary, Switch Mobility, to develop electric vehicles.
In an interview with PTI, Ashok Leyland Executive Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said:
In Spain, we are coming up with a manufacturing facility and R&D centre and there are plans to grow this over the next few years. In India, we will be optimising the facilities that are available with Ashok Leyland. But I’m sure very soon we will require an independent facility as well. And that is something that is being looked at by the management team.
When asked about the new manufacturing centre in India and the timespan required for it to churn out vehicles, Hinduja added:
We are looking at all the opportunities and options available, so that capacity never becomes an issue if the market requires more products. So, I wouldn’t put a date to it right now. But we are keeping all our alternatives and options open.
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He added that the current facilities are capable enough to handle production for the next two years.
We feel quite comfortable that for the immediate, let’s say, 24 months or so. Ashok Leyland would be able to provide the electric products that are needed for Switch.
Switch Mobility will also be developing light commercial vehicles but will be specifically built to cater for the needs of the European, UK, and US markets. India and other Asian markets would be getting the electric avatars of Dost and Bada Dost light commercial vehicles. Moreover, Ashok Leyland will be launching 14 and 16-tonne CNG trucks soon with plans to add an 11-tonne truck in the near future.
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