Ashok Leyland, the country’s second largest CV maker, on its 70th anniversary today, inaugurated its cutting edge electric vehicle (EV) facility in its Ennore plant, Chennai. The company says it is India’s first integrated facility for design, prototyping, testing, process prototyping and solutions design.
The in-house facilities include engineering, prototyping and testing for motors, battery modules and packs and a power electronics lab. Keeping in mind the rapidly evolving and changing market and technology, it has been conceived as an in-house start-up facility in order to stay flexible and fast.
Sharing his views, Vinod K Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland, said, “In our 70th year, we are laying the foundation for our future. The EV Centre in Ennore will give us the edge throughout the evolution of eMobility. Currently, we are the only OEM globally to offer different energy management strategies and an architecture which is modular. Our plan is to start working on new product platforms in EVs such as eLCV, low-floor city buses, last mile connectivity and power solutions products.”
“We have also launched a host of new business models including eMaaS (eMobility as a Service) and eMSol (eMobility as a Solution), which ensures that we are closer to our end-customers and capture more value. The government’s e-mobility vision is an opportunity for the country to save Forex and to reduce oil dependence. For the industry and us, it is an opportunity to reduce total costs of ownership and, more importantly, be at the very cutting edge of technology for the first time,” added Dasari.
Karthick Athmanathan - BU Head, EV's and eMobility, Ashok Leyland, said, “Besides working on multiple technologies and platforms for our products, we are creating new disruptive products and services that will change the very paradigm of commercial vehicle mobility. The focus is on a massive number of internal initiatives for safety, reliability and optimising total cost of ownership. We are committed to exploit new opportunities in terms of efficiency, energy, geometry and business models which electric drive trains offers. At present, we have a capacity to take care of about 5,000-10,000 vehicles per annum, with different battery and charging options. We have leveraged start-ups in India as well as from abroad, to bring in innovative yet cost-effective solutions that are offered by us on a turnkey basis. The idea is to have a mature and dynamic portfolio of products, services and solutions when the volume market takes off in a few years.”
Ashok Leyland’s new facility is equipped with digital tools for manufacturing and field tracking.This centre, along with the eMobTech centre, located in IITM Research Park, will be generating and implementing all the services and solutions contracts that are related to eMobility, for Ashok Leyland.