Switch Mobility’s ‘Green’ plant to make e-buses
Ashok Leyland’s electric vehicle arm, Switch Mobility Limited (Switch), is planning to set up a greenfield project to manufacture electric buses with an investment of around Rs 1,000 crore, a top official said.
Mahesh Babu, Director and CEO, Switch Mobility India, said in an interview, “Currently, we are evaluating various sites to make e-buses.” “The new plant will come in the vicinity of Ashok Leyland’s existing facility.”
He said that they are preparing several blueprints based on the EV policies of various states, adding that a final decision will be taken in the next four to six weeks.
Switch will invest around ₹1,000 crore in the new facility, which will have an initial production capacity of 2,500 buses per year. This will be doubled depending on the demand.
Switch on Tuesday launched its first electric bus ‘Switch EV12’ for the Indian market in the presence of its chairman Dheeraj Hinduja. These buses are currently manufactured at ALL’s Ennore plant.
“Right now, Switch has an order book of 600 e-buses. The first 50 buses will be delivered to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) by the end of the month,” Mr. Hinduja said.
Out of 600 buses, 300 are for BMTC, 200 double deck buses for Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking and 100 for staff/staff transportation. Apart from this, it is also actively working on developing luxury buses for STC.
“Within the first three months of the current financial year, we have received orders for 600 buses and may end the year with around 1,000 buses. Out of this, 600 buses will be supplied this year,” said Mr. Babu.
When asked about the fund-raising programme, Mr. Babu said he needs around £200 million for short term of 2-3 years and £100 million for 3-5 years. Thereafter, they can tap the capital market.
On exports, Mr. Hinduja said that using ALL’s vast network, Switch will explore the possibility of entering new markets such as Africa, Middle East and South East Asian countries.
“The indigenization level of these vehicles is 60% and our first priority is to sell them in the domestic market. Going forward, we will make country/region specific buses with left-hand drive, heat controller etc,” said Mr. Babu.
According to him, the switch officer, EIV 12 will cater to the mobility needs of the staff, school and on tarmac, within the city, within the city. It is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that offers up to 300km with a single charge and up to 500km with dual gun fast charging.
The EiV 12 is embedded with ‘Switch Ion’, a proprietary, connected technology solution. The bus is available in two variants – EiV 12 Low Floor and EiV 12 Standard.
“The launch of our next generation electric bus platform in India is an important milestone for Switch Mobility. Our aspiration is to make electric products more accessible in India, UK, Europe and many global markets, contributing significantly to the rapidly growing zero carbon mobility,” said Mr. Hinduja.