Switch Mobility, the electric bus and light commercial vehicle OEM and part of Ashok Leyland, is to break ground on a new manufacturing and technology centre in Castilla y Leon, Spain on January 27, 2022. With a significant presence already in the UK and India, the new facility will extend Switch’s footprint as part of the company’s global plans.
Switch’s first facility in continental Europe will see the company invest around 100 million euros (Rs 827 crore) over the next 10 years. The hub will comprise two state-of-the-art production lines and is expected to see the first buses produced in the fourth quarter of 2022. With an initial focus on the manufacture of net zero carbon electric vehicles for the European market and R&D of Switch’s next generation of electric buses and LCVs, the site will also have capacity to serve markets further afield including South America.
Switch has worked closely with the Spanish national and regional governments during the planning stages and is also closely collaborating with the local Town Halls. A memorandum of understanding was signed in October.
Dr Andy Palmer, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Switch Mobility, said: “We are delighted that Switch is today launching its first site in continental Europe in the province of Valladolid, Spain where we will benefit greatly from the regions abundance of talent. Supporting our well-established sites in the UK and India, our Spanish facility will provide us with crucial access to the European market."
He added, "On behalf of the board, I would like to thank the Minister of Economy of the Castilla y León Government, Carlos Fernández Carriedo and the Mayor of Valladolid, Oscar Puente who have been hugely supportive of the project and have worked closely with Switch over the last six months. I look forward to building on this relationship as we develop Switch’s advanced, carbon-neutral facility and work with the region to support their transition to a fully electric bus fleet.”
In keeping with Switch’s zero carbon philosophy, all operations will be powered entirely by renewable energy and a state-of-the-art energy monitoring and management system will be installed. Carbon neutrality will remain a priority during the construction phase, with materials sourced from suppliers with credible net zero policies and sustainable commitments and logistics operated by electric vehicles wherever possible.
With a strong automotive supply chain within the region, excellent transport links and a high level of skilled automotive engineers and operatives, Switch has identified Castilla y Leon as the ideal location for its facility. The facility will generate significant economic benefit to surrounding communities, creating up to 2,000 talented direct jobs and around 5,000 indirect jobs.