When carmakers are on the overdrive to develop electric vehicles, Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV) are not going to be left behind.
Ashok Leyland announced the formation of a strategic alliance with SUN Mobility and SUN Group, to develop electric buses. Sun Mobility led by Chetan Maini, founder of Reva, India's first electric car, along with Uday Khemka, Vice Chairman of SUN Group will help develop electric mobility solutions for Ashok Leyland.
Ashok Leyland is already a pioneer in electric buses, hybrid buses including both CNG and diesel type, as well as vehicles that don't require plug-in technology.
While Ashok Leyland will develop the electric bus, Sun Mobility will be responsible for setting up the charging stations at bus depots. These stations, predominantly powered by renewable energy, will recharge electric vehicles at a lower cost and speed faster than conventional diesel/petrol stations.
Vinod K Dasari, CEO and Managing Director, Ashok Leyland said, "We have entered into a strategic alliance to develop electric buses with 'swap and charge' battery technology. We have to decide on firming up the agreement into a joint venture."
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Chetan Maini, Vice Chairman of SUN Mobility, said, "With this partnership, SUN Mobility hopes to create a strategic alliance in the area of mass electric mobility by deploying market-leading integrated ecosystem comprising Ashok Leyland's state-of-the art electric vehicles and our proprietary smart batteries along with a network of quick interchange battery stations."
"This partnership will help the nation move masses via an efficient, pollution-free and cost-competitive solution for electric mobility."
While there has been an unprecedented development in electric vehicles, there is some if not few advancement on the infrastructure such as charging stations and batteries. The alliance between Ashok Leyland and SUN Mobility will hope to answer these questions.