Ashok Leyland mulls setting up separate production plant for electric vehicles
Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland is mulling to set up a new manufacturing facility for the production of electric vehicles (EVs). The Chennai-based company aims to expand its EV portfolio as well as develop new engines keeping in mind the changing market requirements in domestic as well as international markets.
The automaker has also lined up an investment of ₹500 crore to develop powertrains based on alternative fuels such as CNG and hydrogen, alongside electric powertrains for its commercial vehicles range. Earlier, it had already announced a nearly ₹1,500 crore investment in electric mobility through its UK-based arm Switch Mobility.
In Spain, the company is coming up with a manufacturing facility as well as an R&D centre with plans to grow this over the next few years while in India, the company plans to optimise the facilities that are available already. "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.
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When asked if the company has set some timeframe for the setting up of new plant, Hinduja noted that a lot will depend on the volume growth of electric vehicles. "We are looking at all the opportunities and options available, so that capacity never becomes an issue if the market requires more products. So, I wouldn't put a date to it right now. But we are keeping all our alternatives and options open," he added.
He also noted that at present, the company feels quite comfortable about its production capacity for the next two years. He revealed that the company's Dost and Bada Dost models would be utilised in the EV space to cater to the domestic and the SAARC markets. "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," he added.