Switch Mobility wins transport tech firm Chalo’s 5,000 electric bus contract

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 11 Aug 2022


Switch Mobility, the next-generation carbon neutral electric bus and light commercial vehicle company, and Chalo, the transport technology company, have entered into a strategic collaboration to deploy 5,000 state-of-the-art electric buses across India.

This partnership, one of the largest commitments for electric buses worldwide, builds on Switch’s already strong order book covering three continents with established operators in India, Continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

The MoU with Chalo has been signed for an initial period of three years and the buses will be deployed across districts and cities in India where Chalo operate. Switch will supply variants of the recently launched EiV12 electric bus as part of the supply agreement. The delivery and operation of these electric buses will support India’s plans to decarbonise public transportation. Switch Mobility is well placed to meet this demand with its combination of engineering expertise and technological innovation from its manufacturing hubs in India and the UK.

Equipped with advanced lithium-ion NMC chemistry, the EiV 12 has a range of up to 300kms with single charge, and up to 500km with dual-gun fast charging.

Andy Palmer, CEO of Switch Mobility, said, “The signing of this MoU with Chalo firmly establishes Switch as one of the pre-eminent manufacturers of zero emissions buses globally. Our engineering expertise across the UK, Europe and India and new product range across all three of our key markets leaves us well positioned to continue to grow our order bank and meet the challenges authorities and operators face in decarbonizing their bus network.”

L-R: Mahesh Babu, CEO – Switch Mobility India & COO – Switch Mobility and Mohit Dubey, co-founder and CEO, Chalo.

Mahesh Babu, CEO – Switch Mobility India & COO – Switch Mobility Ltd, said, “The changing mobility landscape in India is significantly altering the way people travel within cities. Given our vision to accelerate the adoption of clean, sustainable electric transportation solutions, we are delighted to partner with Chalo for a first of its kind partnership in this space. We aim to transform the urban mobility in the country by leveraging Chalo’s strong customer connect and operational expertise along with our technologically advanced electric vehicle products. This significant partnership of 5000 electric buses, will certainly open up access to affordable, comfortable, hassle-free and environmentally friendly transport solutions, while enhancing the overall customer experience.’’

Mohit Dubey, co-founder and CEO, Chalo, said, “Buses make up for 48% of India’s daily travel, and yet we have just 3 buses for 10,000 people. Growing bus fleets and providing high-quality buses are key to achieving Chalo's purpose of making travel better for everyone. Last year we finalised a project to add 1,000 new buses in three of our cities. Today, we are glad to partner with Switch on a scale that is 5x larger. The travel experience in these buses will be at par with global cities like Hong Kong and Singapore. We are confident that this collaboration will propel our collective journey towards building sustainable cities.”

Under this partnership, Switch and Chalo will jointly invest to deploy electric buses in cities where Chalo is present. Chalo will deploy its consumer technology solutions such as the Chalo App and the Chalo Card, offering conveniences such as live bus tracking, digital tickets, and travel plans; and also determine routes, frequency, schedules, and fares. Switch’s responsibilities include the supply and maintenance of the state-of-the-art electric buses.

A mature start-up, Switch was forged from the innovative EV elements of Ashok Leyland, the fourth largest bus OEM in the world, and Optare, the UK bus manufacturer with over a century of expertise in using the latest technologies in bus design.

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