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Ashok Leylands Switch Mobility to invest Rs 1,000 cr in new plant in south – Business Standard

Electric Vehicles | Ashok Leyland | Ashok Leyland electric buses
Shine Jacob  |  Chennai

Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle arm of Ashok Leyland, is all set to invest around Rs 1,000 crore for setting up a new manufacturing unit in South India. The company is also in talks with financial investors to raise over $200 million for its expansion.
Switch had last month lined up investments of about 300 million pound across the UK and India to develop its range of electric buses and light commercial vehicles. “We are planning an integrated facility in India. All the left hand drive vehicles will be made in Spain and right hand drive in India,” said Mahesh Babu, Chief Operating Officer of Switch Mobility. The company said that already orders for around 1,200 buses are in the pipeline. It is planning to launch its light commercial vehicle (eLCV) — Bada Dost – by the end of this financial year. Bada Dost will be followed by the launch of Dost brand of eLCVs.
Switch had already got orders for around 300 twelve-metre electric buses for BMTC (Bengaluru cMetropolitan Transport Corporation). Switch, a combined entity of Ashok Leyland's electric CV operations and the former bus manufacturer Optare of the UK, was formed during the same time last financial year. “We are in talks with financial investors to raise over $200 million,” Babu said talking about the funding plans. In July last year, US-based drivetrain-maker Dana had picked up 1 per cent stake in Switch for $18 million.
The company that had 60 buses when it started operations now has more than 600 buses with a reported value of around Rs 800 crore. It had won operate 300 twelve-metre electric buses for BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation). The fleet and charging infrastructure will be supplied, operated and maintained by Switch for 12 years under a gross cost contract (GCC) model under the FAME II Scheme. It won a deal to introduce electric double decker buses in Mumbai.
“In India, the exponential 10-fold increase in order book with 600 buses and almost 1200 in the pipeline is a testament of the trust built on our brand and our products. Switch EV buses in India have clocked over 7 million kilo meters across the country, saving 4500 tonnes of CO2, with a significant uptime of over 97 per cent,” Babu added.
Switch, through a subsidiary Ohm Global Mobility is also on track in the eMaaS (e-mobility as a service) space, and will look at the operational side, including maintenance, installation of charging points at depots and other on-ground work. “Ohm will do all the operational works, which technical aspects be run by Switch,” he added.
The company said that will also gain from the Government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme as parent is among the selected applicants under the initiative to promote local manufacturing by automotive industry players.
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