The Board of Directors of Ashok Leyland has approved an investment of Rs 1,200 crore in Switch Mobility as equity through its holding company, Optare PLC UK. The funds will be used for capital expenditure, R&D, and meeting operational requirements both in UK and India. The funds will be infused over the next few months after necessary statutory approvals in one or more tranches.
Switch Group of Companies (Switch Mobility Ltd - UK and Switch Mobility Automotive Ltd., India) house the Electric Mobility initiative of the CV major, Ashok Leyland, focusing on e-Buses and e-LCVs.
Over the last few years, Switch India has had major success in garnering orders from State Transport Undertakings. As of date, Switch in India and the UK has over 800 buses plying successfully and has an order book of over 1,200 buses.
In September 2023, Switch India launched its state-of-the-art e-LCVs. The company has signed MOUs for over 13,000 vehicles for its much-awaited e-LCVs, which it will start delivering in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year.
Dheeraj G. Hinduja, Executive Chairman, Ashok Leyland, stated, “Electric vehicles, especially buses and light trucks, have a very bright future as governments and private customers are driving the green agenda. We are confident that Switch will grow further in the European markets with the launch in 2024 of our new E1 12m bus developed specifically for the European market.”
Shenu Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “The market for EVs is growing rapidly, driven by the trend towards Carbon Neutrality. We will continue to build capability in this business by investing in product development as well as expanding operations. Both the Indian and European markets are going to be important growth centers for EV trucks and buses. In the coming year, we are expecting our e-LCVs to drive faster customer adoption. The balance sheet of Ashok Leyland can comfortably fund the initiatives of Switch.”