40 Electric Buses from Ashok Leyland Hit Roads of Chandigarh

Highlights :

  • The e-bus fleet can save 6.5 lakh liters of fuel and cut 1,700 tonnes of CO2  emissions annually.
  • E-bus manufacturing has led to hold-on investments in conventional bus manufacturing.

A multinational automotive manufacturer from Hinduja Group, Ashok Leyland, has rolled out its electric buses (e-buses) in Chandigarh.

On Wednesday, the Governor of Chandigarh, VP Singh Bandore flagged off the set of 40 electric buses from Ashok Leyland in its first phase.

According to the firm, Ashok got the order to build electric buses that are equipped with quick charging technology. This 40-buses fleet would save about 6.5 lakh liters of fuel and reduce carbon emissions of about 1,700 tonnes per annum, as per the company’s claims.

The charging infrastructure for the fleet would be developed across four locations and would be maintained and operated by the manufacturer, Ashok Leyland itself. While the charging stations are announced to be developed by Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle arm of Ashok Leyland. This would be happening under a partnership with Siemens, a germen automation company.

As, in April 2021, Siemens and Switch Mobility signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on delivering efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable e-mobility solutions to various commercial vehicle customers in the country, informed the firm.

Also, in the same month, Ashok Leyland through its subsidiary Switch Mobility has announced its global expansion plans into India and its plan to create 2 subsidiaries. The first, Switch Mobility Automotive, is being formed to carry on the EV strategy in India, which forms part of its global entity. The second is OHM Global Mobility, which will focus on providing Mobility as a Service offering.

While in July, the manufacturing giant has transferred the entire EV business of the group, including UK-subsidiary Optare to Switch Mobility. The company would be entirely responsible for the EV operations of the group with Ashok Leyland concentrating on its core business of diesel-powered (ICE) vehicles along with the work on alternative fuels like CNG, LNG, and hydrogen.

As electric bus manufacturing is dominating the conventional fuel buses, Ashok Leyland’s has already invested around $130 million in Switch Mobility for EV manufacturing. On the other hand, its domestic diesel-powered bus manufacturing unit in Andhra Pradesh was commissioned in March but the production volume has been decreasing so fast as there is no need to add a new production line.

Not in Ashok but all domestic bus manufacturers of the country have been holding the investment in the new production line for at least two years, as the existing capacity is not being used up. However, many manufacturing giants have already invested in electric bus manufacturing units.

Likewise, Tata Motors also announced that it is not looking for expansion in bus manufacturing units, and phasing out the investment in other new products, instead.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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