Ashok Leyland’s EV arm looks for financial, strategic investors

Hinduja said that Switch has a very aggressive plan to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle transition in buses and light vehicles.

By:July 29, 2021 8:05 AM
Image used for representational purposes

Hinduja flagship commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland (ALL) on Wednesday said that its new subsidiary Switch Mobility, the next-generation electric bus and light commercial vehicle company, will have funding coming from the financial and strategic investors, apart from the initial capital infusion from ALL. The ALL management has engaged with key investors from India and London to showcase the growth opportunity and the crucial role Switch Mobility will play in shaping the commercial e-mobility space, globally.

Dheeraj Hinduja, chairman, Ashok Leyland & Switch Mobility, speaking to media persons through virtual mode, said that Switch needs to create its own capital structure, both equity and debt. He does not see substantial investment coming from ALL but sees other partners, financial and strategic keen to tie up and the company is exploring all opportunities.

“The support of ALL and Hinduja group for Switch will always be there. Today, EV companies are seeing a lot of interest from a whole host of prospective financial and strategic investors. We believe that ALL has done the initial capital infusion and it is moving in the right direction,” he said.

Hinduja said that Switch has a very aggressive plan to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle transition in buses and light vehicles. Many new products are under development and the company would be will be in a unique position of offering both value and premium products for global markets.

“This we strongly believe will propel us in our journey to achieve our vision to be amongst the top 10 commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world,” he said.

Switch is planning to leverage ALL’s distribution strength in India and Optare’s expertise in the UK where the headquarters of the EV vertical will also be located. Switch will have mother plants in Europe and India, apart from partners for completely knocked down manufacturing units.

To achieve the total lowest cost of ownership, it is betting on lighter material including plant-based composites, used with semi-monocoque design and efficient battery size and placement configurations.

Andrew Palmer, executive vice chairman and CEO of Switch Mobility, UK, said, “We already have a head start in the e-mobility space, with our vehicles already clocking millions of miles in service. We want to increase our reach further and work with different stakeholders to encourage the faster adoption of net-zero carbon mobility. With key leadership positions being filled, we are raring to go and are ready to transform the transport mobility space. Technology and innovation will continue to be pivotal in realising our aspirations in the e-bus and e-truck space.”

In April, Switch Mobility had announced technological collaborations with various partners, including Siemens, to deliver e-Mobility solutions that offer the lowest Total Cost of Ownership for CV customers. As part of its ramp-up, Switch Mobility has already signed customer agreements and LOI’s with leading logistic and e-commerce operators.

Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, ALL, said, “These new initiatives give us the ability to drive the sustainability agenda which Ashok Leyland is passionate about. As leaders, we need to create sustainable solutions that are simple, practical and make good business sense to our customers. Switch Mobility with its strength in net zero carbon technologies combined with Ashok Leyland’s expertise in the mobility space, will lead this change and enable us to fulfil our aspiration of net-zero carbon mobility.”

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