Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, has recently unveiled its strategic plans for the electric vehicle (EV) market. The company announced the introduction of its light commercial vehicles, leV3 and leV4, backed by an investment of ₹100 crore in product development.
Mahesh Babu, CEO of Ashok Leyland, during a media interaction, shared, “This is a new segment that we are entering into. In the first year, we plan to produce 3,000 units. The numbers can be scaled up depending on the demand.” This move follows the successful rollout of electric buses for the Mumbai Transport Corporation earlier this year.
Highlighting the versatility of the new vehicles, Babu termed them as ‘Twin Brothers’ with payloads of 1.7 tonnes and 2.1 tonnes respectively. He added, “Switch would produce leVs up to 7.5 tonnes and unveil more variants in the coming months.” These vehicles are designed to cater to diverse sectors, including e-commerce, last and mid-mile connectivity, waste management, and the FMCG and cold supply chain segments.
The leVs, built on a modular architecture, promise scalability and adaptability. Babu emphasized, “A sum of ₹100 crore has been spent towards developing the product, which will be manufactured at ALL’s Hosur plant.” He believes this modular design approach could be a game-changer for various business needs.
Regarding the launch, Babu mentioned that bookings for these leVs would commence between October and December, with deliveries starting from January 2024. “The price will be announced closer to the launch date. It will be available in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and other neighboring countries, and later in GCC countries,” he added.
Switch Mobility’s aggressive expansion plans are evident. Babu announced that within a year, the company aims to have 45 dealers and 100 outlets across 70 locations. They have already secured commitments for 13,000 vehicles and have collaborated with banks and financial institutions for financing.
Dheeraj Hinduja, ALL Executive Chairman, emphasized the significance of these vehicles, stating that the leVs would play a pivotal role in the last mile connectivity. This statement underscores the company’s vision of a greener, more efficient transportation future.
In another significant move, ALL showcased India’s first hydro fuel cell electric bus and hydrogen ICE truck, developed in collaboration with Reliance Industries. This initiative further solidifies the company’s commitment to sustainable transportation solutions.
The SWITCH leV series, including the Bada Dost (leV4) and Chhota Dost (leV3), is designed to address last-mile transportation needs. Some of its key features include an electric power steering system, a battery pack with a range of 120 kilometers per charge, and a cargo body capable of holding up to 340 cubic feet of containers. Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Transport & Highways, Government of India, who unveiled the vehicles, emphasized the potential of the leV series to revolutionize transportation for MSMEs, cottage industries, and e-commerce in India.
While Ashok Leyland continues its diesel vehicle production, Switch Mobility is focusing on e-buses and small electric commercial vehicles. Funding for these ventures will come from internal resources and borrowing, with the parent company’s support of ₹1,200 crore expected to cover the next two years.
Switch Mobility’s venture into light electric commercial vehicles signifies more than just a business move. It represents a step towards a sustainable future. As the demand for EVs grows, companies like Switch Mobility are at the forefront, ensuring a green, efficient, and adaptable transportation future.