Ashok Leyland establishes production facility for electric vehicles

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Ashok Leyland plans to set up a manufacturing facility to launch electric vehicles in India

New Delhi:

According to a senior company official, Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja Group’s flagship, plans to build a new manufacturing facility in the country to launch electric vehicles.

The Chennai-based company has also provided a Rs 500 crore investment to develop alternative fuel powertrains such as CNG, hydrogen and electric for its commercial vehicle range.

The company has already announced a US$200 million (nearly Rs.1,500 billion) investment in electric mobility through its UK-based Switch Mobility arm.

The commercial vehicle company wants to expand its electric vehicle portfolio and develop new engines, taking into account the changing market requirements on the national and international markets.

“In Spain we are building a production facility and a research and development center and there are plans to expand these over the next few years. In India we will be optimizing the facilities available with Ashok Leyland.

“But I am sure that very soon we will also need an independent facility. And that is being looked into by the management team,” Ashok Leyland Executive Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said in an interaction.

When asked if the company had a timeline for the new plant, he noted that much will depend on EV volume growth.

“We are evaluating all available possibilities and options so that capacity never becomes an issue when the market demands more products. So I wouldn’t set a date for it now. But we are keeping all of our alternatives and options open,” explained Mr. Hinduja.

He noted that the company is feeling quite comfortable at the moment regarding production capacity for the next two years.

“We feel pretty confident that for the next, say, 24 months or so, Ashok Leyland would be able to provide the electrical products needed for Switch,” noted Mr. Hinduja.

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

“We are also looking at the production of a brand new LCV (light commercial vehicle) range from a Switch perspective, which will be destined for the European, UK and US markets,” said Mr. Hinduja.

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