Ashok Leyland is considering an electric vehicle factory; lines up Rs 500 cr for alternative fuels technology

Optimistic about the future of green mobility, Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland plans to set up a new manufacturing plant in the country to deploy electric vehicles, according to a senior company official.

The Chennai-based company has also lined up an investment of Rs 500 crore to develop powertrains based on alternative fuels like CNG, hydrogen and electricity for its range of commercial vehicles.

The company has already announced a $200 million (nearly Rs 1,500 crore) investment through its UK branch Switch Mobility for electric mobility.

The commercial vehicle company aims to expand its portfolio of electric vehicles as well as develop new engines keeping in mind changing market demands in domestic and international markets.

“In Spain, we offer a manufacturing plant and an R&D center and we plan to develop these over the next few years. In India, we will optimize the available facilities with Ashok Leyland.

“But I’m sure very soon we will need an independent facility as well. And that’s something that’s being looked at by the management team,” Ashok Leyland executive chairman Dheeraj Hinduja told PTI. during an interaction.

When asked if the company has set a timeline for the new plant, he noted that a lot would depend on the volume growth of electric vehicles.

“We are looking at all available opportunities and options, so that capacity never becomes an issue if the market demands more product. So I wouldn’t put a date at this time. But we are keeping all of our alternatives and options open.” , Hinduja said.

He noted that at present, the company feels quite comfortable regarding production capacity for the next two years.

“We are quite comfortable in the immediate term, say around 24 months. Ashok Leyland would be able to supply the necessary electrical products for Switch,” Hinduja noted.

On the company’s EV product plans, he said Dost and Bada Dost models would be used to cater to domestic and SAARC markets.

“We are also considering the production of a whole new range of LCVs (light commercial vehicles) from a Switch perspective, which will be aimed at the European, UK and US markets,” Hinduja said.

He noted that the company has electrified Dost and Bada Dost and prototypes are currently running.

“We are looking at the fourth quarter of 2022 to be able to start production of our electric LCV from a Switch perspective,” Hinduja said.

Ashok Leyland is investing around Rs 500-700 crore in products for the domestic market, while Switch plans to spend nearly $200 million over the next two to three years on developing their new products, it said. he adds.

“It also encompasses electric buses and the electric LCV program. But as I said, this is an ongoing program. Our immediate need would be around $200 million, but to complete all of these programs, of course over time more and more funds will be put into it,” Hinduja said.

He noted that over the next decade alternative powertrains including battery electrics and fuel cells will emerge, and Ashok Leyland has dedicated teams focused on developing these segments.

“Over the next 3-4 years, we expect to spend around Rs 500 crore on the development of these technologies. Our ambition is to gradually move towards carbon neutrality, at all stages, while being customer-centric” , Hinduja said.

He added: “When we talk about alternative fuels, CNG, LNG, hydrogen, electricity, we strive to meet all market requirements.”

The company’s vision is to be a top 10 global commercial vehicle player by creating reliable and differentiated products and solutions, while delivering exceptional value to stakeholders, he added.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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