Ashok Leyland is looking at investing Rs 400-500 crore in its electric vehicle business over the next three to five years. Managing director Vinod Dasari told ET that the commercial vehicle manufacturer, the flagship firm of the Hinduja Group, aims to be future ready.
At the same time, he said, the government needs to step up investments in electric vehicle technology to help bring down battery costs and encourage adoption of green mobility solutions.
“We are preparing ourselves for the electric vehicle movement that is going to happen over the next five to 10 years… it’s a question of survival… so (we will invest) at least Rs 400-500 crore over the next three to five years,” Dasari said.
He said manufacturers cannot coerce consumers to purchase electric vehicles, and that demand for electric vehicles will take off only when electric vehicles start making economic sense for the buyer.
“If the government wants to move to EVs by 2030… you have to create an environment for the customer to buy an EV. That you can do by seeing how you can bring down the battery cost,” Dasari said. “The government must invest a lot more money in technology development of batteries.
It should focus more on creating electric infrastructure, on creating electric standards.” The company has adopted a three-pronged strategy to expand its electric vehicles business.
The first pertains to high-speed fastcharging buses, and the second to buses which can be charged overnight. It is also working on battery swapping technology with Sun Mobility to address concerns over limited range of electric vehicles.
Source- Auto- ET