Ashok Leyland targets new markets with Switch Mobility, to launch e-LCV this year

by Sricharan R 29 Jul 2021


Ashok Leyland through its subsidiary Switch Mobility is planning a speedier ride in the cleaner and greener buses and LCV space. The company recently announced strategic steps to further consolidate its progress towards developing net zero- carbon mobility. Now with Switch Mobility in place, the company also plans to enter markets in which it was not present earlier.

On July 28, the company’s management 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. 

Speaking about the strategy of the new subsidiary, Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Ashok Leyland & Switch Mobility, said, “Our constraints have always been that the product range for the international market was limited. This has been managed with the launch of AVTR and Bada Dost with which we can enter a market with a range of products. Switch Mobility allows us to enter markets like the USA, Europe and Japan, which Ashok Leyland could not enter predominantly due to different configurations. With these new products we can address many markets.”

The chairman pointed out that the company has worked with a few consultants to make sure that its data points and numbers are on par with the current situation. Also, around 280 of its electric vehicles are on the road as of today in the UK (through Optare) and India and have clocked over 26 million miles.

“We do not want to be overenthusiastic but at the same time, we should be ready to accelerate to meet the market requirement. The e-buses and e-LCV market size will be growing in the coming years. Many new products are under development and we will be in a unique position of offering both value and premium products for global markets,” he added.

Investment and launches
Ashok Leyland is also expected to invest up to $ 200 million (Rs 1,480 crore) in Switch Mobility of which $ 130 million (Rs 962 crore) has already been invested in the entity. By end-2021, Switch Mobility will launch an e-LCV in India; the company has already secured 2,000 orders for eco-friendly LCV which will be made in India and sold under the Switch Mobility brand. 

The company also sees the subscription model becoming a thing in the near future, and through OHM Global Mobility, the company plans to roll out Mobility as a Service (eMaaS) globally.

Dr Andrew Palmer, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Switch Mobility Ltd, UK stated a few key technology differentiators where the company could have an advantage over the competition. These include lightweighting of their product and the use of high energy density batteries.  He added that every single vehicle that Switch Mobility has on the road has a digital twin which helps them analyse and optimise.  

“In the future, all EVs will be launched under the new brand. Also, the buses and e-LCV that are sold in India will be made in India. The Indian supply base will become a global supply base and it will be a source of production for a number of other key markets,” said Dr Palmer.

Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “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.”

Recently, Dr Andrew Palmer was appointed as Executive Vice Chairman & CEO and other key leadership positions were announced. Former Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan banker and senior lawyer, Dr Miranda Brawn, and auto industry veteran, J M Alapont, were inducted to the Board.