Ashok Leyland in talks with Michelin, Marubeni, SBICap for e-Mobility venture

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on September 16, 2019

India will have 5,600 of such vehicles plying on the roads of 65 cities in the next 18 months   -  Scharfsinn86

The joint venture firm will offer electric buses, battery and power management and other value-added services

Truck-maker Ashok Leyland is in talks with some multinational companies to form a joint venture for offering e-Mobility services, the company’s Head – EV and e-Mobility, Karthick Atmanathan, has said.

“We are talking to a few like-minded MNCs. Michelin is on board, Marubeni is on board,” Atmanathan said, while making a presentation at a conference on e-Mobility, organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry, on Saturday. In a chat with Business Line later, while stressing that the joint venture company was “a long way off”, he named SBICap Ventures among others who are also interested to join. The idea, Atmanathan said, was to create an e-Mobility company, which will offer its services to both public and private vehicle operators. The company will offer electric buses, maintenance, battery management, power management and other value-added services.

The motive behind the company is not to make profits, but it will be profitable, he said. The purpose is to “initiate an eco-system”. The JV will work with the entire supply chain — for example, with vehicle manufacturers to procure buses, with maintenance companies for giving out maintenance contracts, etc.

“The idea is to do this (offer e-Mobility services) in a safe, predictable, branded manner, so that it becomes sustainable and scaleable.”

He said that Ashok Leyland and others would take minority stakes in the company, and the funds would come from various investors.

Asked for investment details, Atmanathan said that they had to be worked out. “We are just trying an initiative. All of us are large companies. We have to come to an agreement about stakes and business strategy,” he said, stressing that it was too early to give more details. However, he said that the company would not get into running of bus services, ticketing or booking freight, but focus on core technology and asset management.

With various State governments tendering for e-buses, India will have 5,600 of such vehicles plying on the roads of 65 cities in the next 18 months. Electric buses are new and taking care of them calls for a specialist. “There was a need for a first doer,” Atmanathan said, adding, “if people like Marubeni, Michelin and Ashok Leyland don’t do it, who will?”

Published on September 16, 2019

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