Switch Mobility sets its sights on global expansion

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First York took delivery of 20 of Switch Mobility’s MetroDecker EV model last year. GARY CHATTERTON

The company formerly known as the Optare Group has announced a raft of changes to the business, and a new partnership

Switch Mobility, whose focus is electric buses and light commercial vehicles, has announced the creation of two subsidiary companies to support its global expansion plans, alongside a new partnership with electronics specialist Siemens.

Switch Mobility Automotive Ltd is being formed to lead the company’s electric vehicle (EV) strategy in India, bringing together the EV operations of Ashok Leyland, the parent of Switch Mobility, and the capabilities and expertise of Optare UK, Ashok Leyland’s UK bus manufacturing subsidiary, to form part of Switch’s global business.

A second subsidiary, OHM Global Mobility Private Ltd, is being created to provide Mobility as a Service (eMaaS) solutions initially in India and thereafter globally.

Together, Switch and OHM will provide a net carbon zero-emission solution to India’s growing trend towards EV urban buses and LCVs.

Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman of Ashok Leyland and Switch Mobility Ltd, said: “Switch Mobility Automotive Ltd will help us fulfil our aspiration of zero carbon emission transportation. With a strong presence and proven expertise in the commercial vehicle market in India and the experience of operating a large number of electric vehicles successfully in India and the UK, we see huge opportunities for growth through Switch’s expansion in Indian and global markets.”

Commenting on the creation of OHM Global Mobility Private Ltd, Dr Andrew Palmer, Vice Chairman of Switch Mobility Ltd, added: “Through OHM Global Mobility Private Ltd, we believe we can accelerate the global transition to net zero carbon mobility in buses and vans. OHM Global Mobility’s pioneering offering is not only extremely comprehensive in India but is also world-leading and will provide a robust model of business that can be leveraged by Switch in all its markets.”

As part of its plans, Switch also announced a new partnership with Siemens. The two companies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards building a co-operative technological partnership in electric commercial mobility segment and execute e-mobility projects in India.

Switch said that the MoU is aimed at delivering ‘efficient, cost-effective and sustainable e-mobility solutions’ to commercial vehicle customers in India. Under the agreement, Switch will manufacture vehicles, whilst Siemens will offer its charging infrastructure technology and medium-voltage grid connections, along with its charging infrastructure management software solution.

Commenting on the partnership, Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Switch Mobility Ltd, continued: “Switch Mobility has a strong pedigree in the commercial vehicle market in India and is ideally placed to promote our aspiration of zero carbon emission transportation. With our experience of over 230 electric vehicles already in operation successfully in India and the UK, we see immense growth opportunities for Switch’s expansion in India, Europe and many global markets. Our aspiration is to make electric products more affordable through this offering, which is also shared by Siemens, renowned for their rich technological pedigree in innovative engineering solutions. We believe that a collaborative approach will accelerate the process. I am very excited with this collaboration which I strongly believe augurs well for the future of commercial e-mobility, in India.”

Nitin Seth, Director Switch Mobility Ltd, added: “Our collaboration with Siemens will focus on key identified areas, which will be critical to propel ourselves, as an industry, towards clean and sustainable mobility solutions. Our overarching objective is to achieve the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and our endeavour with Siemens will focus on it to make e-mobility a compelling solution for businesses and environment in India.”

Sunil Mathur, Siemens Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Siemens is a global leader in e-Mobility solutions for commercial vehicles. We have been implementing projects for electric commercial vehicles across the globe. Together with Switch Mobility, we intend to implement high-quality techno-commercial solutions to address the needs of the growing e-mobility market in India.”

As part of the MoU, Siemens Financial Services will consider a minority investment in OHM Global Mobility Private.