Ashok Leyland pumps in USD130 mn for e-mobility ‘switch’

Commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturer Ashok Leyland is betting big on electric mobility, having invested already over $130 million in this direction. It is banking on its subsidiary Switch Mobility to drive the electric vehicle business apart from focusing on net zero carbon mobility solutions.
Ashok Leyland pumps in USD130 mn for e-mobility ‘switch’


Switch Mobility is targeting a total addressable market of over $70 bn in the largest and fastest growing markets, said Andrew Palmer, the newly-appointed Executive VC-CEO, Switch Mobility. Making the transition from a capex to opex model, it is looking at e-mobility as a service (eMaaS) business. For this, a new entity OHM has been created, wherein the ‘pay per mile’ or subscription-based ownership models would be explored.
While the next-generation electric bus and light CV company’s manufacturing will be out of Leeds in the UK, it will be scouting to set up facilities in the EU also, besides leveraging the supply and vendor linkages from India, Palmer said.
Giving an outline of the ‘future roadmap’ for Ashok Leyland, Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Ashok Leyland and Switch Mobility, said, “The mobility space is experiencing huge disruption, with e-mobility and digital playing a crucial role. We have an aggressive plan to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle transition in buses and light vehicles. We already have over 280 electric buses on the road in India and the UK. Many new products are under development and we will be in a unique position of offering both value and premium products for global markets.”
With a focus on market share and profitability, he said he is confident of making gains in “every segment and every region.” Speaking about the increased spend on infra and the raised budgets in the transportation segment (28% up in 2021-22 compared to the previous year), he said the boom in ecommerce, online retail (39% and India is the eighth largest market for e-commerce) augured well for the company, that is seeking to take its ‘Dost and Bada Dost’ line of CVs beyond the country.
Vipin Sondhi, MD-CEO, Ashok Leyland, said putting a challenging FY21 behind and weathering an extremely severe second wave, the Hinduja flagship has created five clusters to boost its international operations. Apart from SAARC and GCC regions, it has chosen to enhance its reach in Africa, while targeting CIS and ASEAN countries in the future.

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