Ashok Leyland considering new EV manufacturing plant: Report
Ashok Leyland, a flagship company of Hinduja Group, is planning a new EV manufacturing unit in India to expand its portfolio in the segment amid a potential rise in demand for electronic vehicles in domestic and international markets, PTI reported.
The company is also ready with a Rs 500 crore investment for powertrain based on alternative fuels like CNG, hydrogen and electric for its commercial vehicles range, the report said.
Hinduja Group is an Anglo-Indian transnational conglomerate with headquarters in London.
The report said the company plans to optimise the facilities that are available with Ashok Leyland for EV R&D and manufacture.
"But I'm sure very soon we will require an independent facility as well. And that is something that is being looked at by the management team," Ashok Leyland Executive Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja told PTI in an interaction.
While he did not mention a specific timeframe for the new plant, Hinduja said "capacity never becomes an issue if the market requires more products" and working on those lines the company is keeping all alternatives and options open.
He noted that company is comfortably positioned to meet the production capacity for the next two years.
"We feel quite comfortable that for the immediate, let's say, 24 months or so. Ashok Leyland would be able to provide the electric products that are needed for Switch," Hinduja noted, reported PTI.
Switch designs, manufactures and sells advanced single deck and double deck buses for a global market place with the support of its parent company, Ashok Leyland. Switch's buses operate in United Kingdom, Continental Europe, North America and further.
"We are also looking at the production of a brand-new LCV (light commercial vehicle) range from the perspective of Switch which will be for the European UK and the US markets," Hinduja said.
"We are looking at Q4 of 2022 to be able to start production of our electric LCV from Switch's perspective," Hinduja stated, PTI quoted.
Ashok Leyland is investing around Rs 500-700 crore for products for the domestic market, while Switch plans to spend close to USD 200 million in the next two- three years for the development of their new products, he added, the report stated.
He said that the alternative powertrains comprising battery electric and fuel cell electric will emerge in the next and Ashok Leyland has directed its resources towards development of these segments, it added.
"In the next 3-4 years, we expect to spend around Rs 500 crore in the development of these technologies. Our ambition is to steadily move towards being carbon neutral, across all stages, while being customer centric," Hinduja was quoted as saying by PTI.
He further said: "When we talk about alternative fuels, CNG, LNG, hydrogen, electric, we are working on ensuring that we can cater to all the requirements of the market."
For the SAARC and domestic markets, he said Dost and Bada Dost models would be utilised, adding that the company has electrified Dost and Bada Dost and prototypes are currently running.