Switch Mobility bets on low TCO-driven model to make e-bus adoption viable 

G Balachandar | | Updated on: Jun 14, 2022
(from left) Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Switch Mobility & Mahesh Babu, CEO, Switch Mobility India

(from left) Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Switch Mobility & Mahesh Babu, CEO, Switch Mobility India

Company launches a new e-bus platform EiV12 with low floor, standard options

 

Switch Mobility, the electric-vehicle arm of Ashok Leyland, said its electric bus strategy would be based on offering the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) model, backed by 4-key parameters, in order to make the EV adoption successful, while announcing the formal introduction of its new electric bus platform EiV12. 

The company’s electric bus philosophy will be built upon achieving the lowest TCO through light weighting, modularity, best-in-class battery pack and state-of-the-art digital adaptation. 

“Lower TCO has driven faster electric vehicle adoption in three-wheelers. Similarly, we are focusing on TCO for the electric bus, too. Because the e-mobility as a service (eMaaS) model has only 20-22 per cent cash outflow due to the cost of the electric bus. There are many other factors that add up to 100 per cent. So, we don’t look at the product alone but focus on optimising charging, energy, manpower, utilisation and uptime etc. Our e-buses today are operating at 98 per cent uptime (as against the business case of 95 per cent), which allows more collections and revenue. This is how we intend to make EV adoption successful,” Mahesh Babu, CEO, Switch Mobility India told BusinessLine during a select discussion.  

The company will offer different business models such as eMaaS, wet lease, etc., depending on the customer segment requirements.  

It plans to sell its electric buses in intra-city, inter-city, staff and school transportation and tarmac (airport) segments. But in the case of STUs (state transport undertakings), it will have select participation and may not take part in all STU tenders.  

“Switch Mobility’s unique positioning is that it can travel both in premium and value segments globally with presence in India, UK, and most recently in Spain. The low-cost support and engineering support from the Indian base is undoubtedly an added advantage for us. There is a large market potential for our future growth,” said Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Switch Mobility. 

He added that the company would require a capital of £300 million in the next few years to develop new products and build a technical centre in the UK. It is in discussion with investors to raise capital both at Switch Mobility UK and Ohm Global Mobility India for eMaaS space. 

The new bus platform EiV12 will be available in low floor and standard variants, and comes equipped with advanced lithium-ion NMC chemistry that will offer a range up to 300 km on a single charge, and up to 500 km with dual gun fast charging. 

Babu said the electric bus market in India would double this year and triple in the next fiscal. The prediction is the electric bus market would see a 10-fold growth in the next five years. “Switch’s order book has already grown 10 times this year (600 units) as compared to last year (60 units), while the company’s 115 electric buses are currently running across Chandigarh, Patna and Ahmedabad,” he added. 

The Indian bus market is estimated at 85,000 units (5-12 mtr), which has taken many decades to reach this level. But the electric bus segment is expected to achieve about 40 per cent of this volume in the next 10 years. “This will be the pace at which electric adoption will happen in the bus segment, said Babu. 

The company will have a dedicated service network for providing service support to its electric bus customers. These partners will be initially be chosen from the existing Ashok Leyland channel network. 

 

Published on June 14, 2022
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