Bengaluru, India (Urban Transport News): Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle unit of Ashok Leyland, is planning to invest approx. Rs1,000 crore in setting up of a dedicated Electric Vehicle Plant in South India. The plan is to set up 30,000 units of electric light commercial vehicles (E-LCV) capacity and 10,000 units of electric buses (e-buses). This plan will help Ashok Leyland to cater to the rising demand for EVs for last-mile goods and public transport.
Recently, Switch Mobility has completed its first anniversary and committed over Rs 3,000 crores investment in the zero-carbon public and commercial transportation and set up a plant in Spain. The company has managed to secure orders for 600 electric buses already according to Mahesh Babu, CEO of Switch Mobility. He said that the Ashok Leyland group was eyeing a business of 5,000 buses or 15,000 small commercial vehicles in the next three to five years, which will help the EV arm generate close to a billion dollars of revenues.
"We have actively participated in tenders of over 7,000 buses. With the plans on the table, we should be able to deliver over 500 buses in FY23, and in the next three to five years we should be able to grow this number 10-fold. There is strong momentum in new orders emerging on the scene with the CESL and BEST orders. We are also talking to private operators, who are showing interest. The business should deliver healthy growth," said Mahesh Babu, ET reported.
Currently, the buses are being assembled at the Switch Mobility's Enmore manufacturing plant. However, the company will move to a plant with a dedicated channel, and it already has an independent balance sheet. The EV plant will have an LCV and bus and battery pack assembly under one roof.
Other than cell manufacturing, almost every part of the electric bus is localised to de-risk Switch Mobility from the global supply chain. The company is already in talks with cell manufacturers who won bids under the production-linked incentive scheme (PLIs) of Govt. of India to source cells locally. This will ensure that local content is spruced up. The buses produced by Switch will have a local content of over 60%, added Mahesh Babu.
To meet its future needs, Switch Mobility and its e-mobility-as-a-service unit Ohm Global are in talks with investors to raise funds for its EVs to the tune of over $250-300 million (combined), which is likely to be finalised in a few weeks, reported ET.