Ashok Leyland’s Crown Jewel Ennore Plant To Be Pumped INR 1000 Cr By Its EV Arm, Switch Mobility

Sapna Bhardwaj
Sapna Bhardwaj May 12 2022 - 11 min read
Ashok Leyland’s Crown Jewel Ennore Plant To Be Pumped INR 1000 Cr By Its EV Arm, Switch Mobility
Switch Mobility which is the Electric Vehicle (EV) arm of Ashok Leyland will be investing INR 1000 Cr in the Tamilnadu based Ennore plant.

Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle arm of Ashok Leyland, will be investing INR 1,000 crore in a dedicated Electric Vehicle plant in the state of Tamilnadu, South India. Ennore is based in the Chennai and Tiruvallur districts.

The plan is to set up 30,000 units of E-LCV (Electric Light Commercial Vehicle) capacity and 10,000 units’ electric buses that will help Ashok Leyland to cater to rising demand for EVs for the last-mile goods and public transport. Switch Mobility last month committed over INR 3,000 crore on the zero-carbon public and commercial transportation and set up a plant in Spain. The one year old EV arm Switch has managed to secure an order for 600 electric buses. The group was eyeing a business of 5,000 buses or 15,000 small commercial vehicles in the next three to five years, which will help to generate close to a billion dollars of revenues.


Hinduja Group's Flagship Ashok Leyland - Switch Vehicles

While on a trip to London, I am sure the Red Double Decker ride is definitely in our itinerary, this is one such marvel of Switch vehicles. This bus will allow you to view the Bromley and London scenic views with a feeling of patriotism, now that we know this red beauty is owned by an Indian auto manufacturer. The range of Switch vehicles is one which leads the way towards zero emission public transport, be it the Red Double Decker Buses or the planned Ahmedabad city ecosystem in synced with the rapid charging networks. Switch vehicles have always proven a track record. Its EVs are already on the road. It has delivered till date 300 vehicles and clocked over 30 million electric miles in both the developed and the developing markets. What needs to be understood is the strong backbone this Electric Vehicle arm of Ashok Leyland has with its more than 100 years of experience and legacy. This makes it an edge provider with advanced offerings such as buses and E-LCVs fitted with the latest battery innovations with the Switch proprietary technology. Vehicles available from Switch Mobility Ltd are Metrodecker, Metrocity and Solo. Vehicles from Switch Global Ltd are Bus 9.4m, Bus 12m, eLCV - Dost and eLCV Bada Dost.

What Technology Does Switch Mobility Use?

Things are changing at an absolutely bullet train speed, as such that the bullet train is not coming home. With this rapid change the Switch offers research and proprietary technologies that help the world to stay ahead of the curve. Designing almost everything from the ground up to be net zero, this smart vehicle of the Hinduja’s has achieved the lowest possible TCO.

Electric Vehicle Technology Used By Ashok Leyland Switch Mobility

Lightweight Monocoque Material - The strong ultra-lightweight made from a high proportion of plant-based composites. The self-coloured body panels eliminate the need for the paint process during manufacturing, and make replacements and repairs more efficient. With material quality that does not degrade over time this means a longer life of the vehicles.

Bespoke Battery Technology - This technology allows vehicle owners and users to build their own range. With the latest innovations in battery design, modular batteries which are integrated into the vehicle structure with a wide variety of options, allows one to choose how long one wants to keep going.

AI powered Digital Twin - All products design has a digital twin this means a virtual replica of a physical device. This allows us to monitor, diagnose and continually optimise each and every vehicle.

Use of Big Data - To get a complete picture of a vehicle, data is vital. Switch technology collects and analyses over 2TB of data daily, giving the insights needed to continuously improve its offering.

Control your fleet with i-Alert - The i-Alert platform allows customers to access vehicle tracking and performance remotely, diagnostics, prognostics and battery management tools for world-class fleet efficiency.

Smart interactions - From speed restrictions to automatic emergency braking, the vehicles communicate with the world around them to ensure the highest levels of safety.

Upgradable over-the-air - Over-the-air updates for software, this means one would have the latest optimisations instantly, without the need to visit a service centre.

eMobility as a Service/eMaaS for short - Switch provides a pay as you go option. We take care of the vehicles and their maintenance, so that the EV driver can focus on the most important thing – transporting passengers or goods safely and efficiently.

Switch’s Board of Directors are Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman; Dr. Andy Palmer, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO; Shom Hinduja, Non Executive Director; Dr. Venkat Sumantran, Non Executive Director; Jose Maria Alapont, Independent Non Executive Director; Dr Miranda Brawn, Independent Non-Executive Director; Diane Moore, Independent Non-Executive Director; Bill Deeves, Company Secretary and Head of Legal.

The Executive Committee is formed by Dr. Andy Palmer, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO; Hariharan Krishnamurthi, CFO; Bill Deeves, Company Secretary and Head of Legal; Mahesh Babu, Chief Executive Officer; Sarwant Singh Saini, President and Chief Planning Officer; Roger Blakey, Chief Technical Officer; Natalie Wood, Chief Human Resources Officer; Muralee Krishnan, Chief Manufacturing & Supply Chain Officer; Tilak Ahuja, Chief Procurement Officer; Peter Freedman, Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer; Stuart Jeff, Chief Quality Officer; Sivanesan Ramachandran, Special Advisor; and Regional Presidents - Eva Driessen, President Iberia; Shannon Taylor, Director APAC and MEDC.


All You Need To Know About Ashok Leyland

Ashok Leyland is flagship of the Hinduja group; it is the 2nd largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India, the 4th largest manufacturer of buses in the world, and the 19th largest manufacturer of trucks. Headquartered in Chennai, 9 manufacturing plants gives an international footprint with 7 in India, a bus manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), one at Leeds, United Kingdom and a joint venture with the Alteams Group for the manufacture of high-press die-casting extruded aluminum components for the automotive and telecommunications sectors. It has a well-diversified portfolio across the automobile industry. It has recently been ranked as 34th best brand in India.

A US $4.5 billion company, and a footprint that extends across 50 countries, it is one of the fully integrated manufacturing companies this side of the globe. It has a product range from 1T GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) to 55T GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) in trucks. Customising trucks to customer needs has now become a reality with the revolutionary industry first truly modular trucks - AVTR. The all-new LCV-Bada DOST is all set to create a paradigm shift in customer experience with its future ready and many industry-first customer-centric offerings.  The AVTR and the LCV-Bada DOST, powered by the latest i-GEN6 technology, are transforming businesses to the next level. Millions of passengers get to their destinations every day travelling on the 9-to-80-seater Ashok Leyland bus range and the trucks keep the wheels of the economy moving.

With the largest fleet of logistics vehicles deployed in the Indian Army and significant partnerships with armed forces across the globe, Ashok Leyland vehicles for Defence and Special applications helps keep borders secure. Its product portfolio also has diesel engines for industrial, genset and marine applications.

Pioneers in the Commercial Vehicle (CV) space, many product concepts have become industry benchmarks and norms. Ashok Leyland has ISO/TS 16949 Corporate Certification and is also the first CV manufacturer in India to receive the OBD-II (on board diagnostic) certification for BS IV-compliant commercial vehicle engines, SCR (selective catalytic reduction), iEGR (intelligent exhaust gas recirculation) and CNG technologies. Ashok Leyland is the first truck and bus manufacturer outside of Japan to win the Deming prize for its Pantnagar plant in 2016 and the Hosur Unit II has been awarded the Deming Prize in 2017. Driven by innovative products suitable for a wide range of applications and an excellent understanding of the customers and local market conditions, it has been at the forefront of the commercial vehicle industry for decades.

In the commercial vehicle industry, it has one of the largest and fastest-growing networks with 52577 touch points that includes 1721 exclusive touch points and 11,000 outlets for Leyparts. The company now has a service centre every 75 kilometres on all major highways, allowing it to keep its “Ashok Leyland Quick Response” promise of reaching customers within 4 hours and getting them back on the road in 48 hours.” With technology-enabled customer engagement processes and knowledge on the specific applications of the product range, its sales team is well equipped to fulfill customer’s needs. Ashok Leyland manages 12 driver training institutes across India and has trained over 18, 00,000 drivers since inception. On-site service training for technicians is provided by Ashok Leyland’s service training institutes across 12 locations pan India.

Through Gro Digital Platforms Limited, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland and Hinduja Leyland Finance Limited, it aims to provide a one stop solution for commercial vehicle fleet owners. Gro offers brand agonistic solutions for everything from roadside assistance to telematics; tyre management to vehicle insurance – it is a medium that ensures higher uptime for the fleet.

The company is committed to the Environment, Social and Governance agenda and is driving various initiatives under each category. Every decision of the company always considers the values of sustainability and a socially responsible approach to fulfil its mission for inclusive growth. The company practices good corporate governance, with a culture of transparency, accountability, compliance, and disclosure.


OEM Plant Details, Ashok Leyland Ennore Plant India

Hinduja Group’s flagship Ashok Leyland in September 2018 inaugurated a new electric facility at its Ennore plant. This plant is about 16 km from Chennai city proper and proximate to the cluster of petrochemical/chemical, process, power, port and allied sector industries.

Reaching the Ennore plant would be a drive up north from the Chennai port via the Ennore high road bordering the Bay of Bengal on the one side and the industrial zone on the other.


History of Ennore Plant, Ashok Leyland Switch Mobility

The Ennore plant was founded by Raghunandan Saran and set up in collaboration with Austin Motor Company, England, to assemble Austin A 40 and A 70 cars. During the early 1950s, it was with Leyland of the UK under an agreement to import, assemble and manufacture trucks. Ashok Motors became Ashok Leyland in 1955 with equity participation from Leyland Motors Ltd. This facility is equipped with digital tools for manufacturing and field tracking. This date is referring to the Electric Vehicle plant, however the Ashok Motors Ennore started operations in 1948; it started with assembling of Austin cars; chassis assembly till 1951 and then production under Ashok Leyland in 1955. The plant area is spread over 120 acres. It employs around 2200 associates, 800 executives besides contract personnel and associates. The plant product and production are chassis, engine and gearbox – assembles all aggregates of engines, axles, gearbox and chassis for varied models of trucks and buses. Engines from 58 to 360 HP. Around 120 chassis are produced per day; H-series engines around 220 per day and Neptune series engines around 20 per day to be stepped up to 40 per day. As of Financial Year 2017-2018 the number of vehicles produced was 23,978 vehicles. The distinction of this plant was front runner in new model introduction by building Pilot Vehicles. Highest flexibility in producing various model mixes such as Trucks and Passenger of all models. LCV Passengers only plan to produce Stag and Lynx models. Export vehicles only plant to produce all passenger models. The plant and machinery are modern machining facilities with 66% of total machines are less than 6 years old; fully integrated plant, shortest lead time to produce chassis from receipt of rough material; skilled workforce with 48% of associates having more than 26 years of experience. Awards won - Won Gold and Silver - Award at the ICQCC 2007 Beijing, China; Won CII - 5S Excellence Award 2012. Gold Medal Award - ICQCC 2017 Manila, Philippines and many more.

The first lot Leyland chassis assembled by Ashok Motors at Ennore in 1951 were Comet 350-Engine tippers, four vehicles sold to the Mangalore Tile Factory, and under AL, during the 1st year of operations in 1955, 1,000 chassis were rolled out. The Ennore plant produced 23,798 chassis in FY ’18 and production peaked at 30,915 chassis in FY ’16 & FY ’17.

The plant has a passenger train railway line running through the campus with various plant shops located on either side. The land was gifted to the railways to facilitate east coast travel, and Ashok Leyland had also gifted part of its land for the road construction.

The plan is to set up 30,000 units of E-LCV capacity and 10,000 units’ electric buses that will help Ashok Leyland to cater to rising demand for EVs for the last-mile goods and public transport. Switch Mobility last month committed over 3,000 crore on the zero-carbon public and commercial transportation and set up a plant in Spain. Other than cell manufacturing, almost every part of the electric bus is localised to de-risk

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