It is also working on other alternative fuels to power its M & HCVs
The company already operates some electric buses in some states and is likely to launch the electric version of the DOST in the fourth quarter of this year.
Apart from Electric, the company is working on other alternative fuel options for its CVs, a top official said.
“Although we’ve a sister concern called’ Switch’that deals with all motorcars and small EVs, we’re working on ICV ( intermediate marketable vehicle) EVs. We are now preparing ourselves for all kinds of alternative fuel …
Ashok Leyland head of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) business, Sanjeev Kumar, told BusinessLine, “We need to have all the technologies available on the shelf and when we create the infrastructure and the ecosystem.”
The company completed the sale of its EV business last week to its EV arm Switch Mobility Automotive for ₹ 240 crore.
The transfer of the EV business resulted in a profit of ₹ 96 crore for the company and the transfer of the EMaaS (Electric Mobility-as-a-Service) business is pending regulatory and other approvals.
While compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are now underway, Kumar said it may take some more time to adopt electric in most tonnes of trucks.
“My own sense is that there is electricity in buses and small vehicles and in the ICV range. However, most tonnes of vehicles will take some time to move. After CNG, we can see that LNG is now progressing because it is fast progressing in Europe and China, ”he said.
The company has recently launched the EcoMet Star ICV CNG range, and customers can choose from two options of 16.1 tonnes and 14.250 tonnes with three CNG cylinder options – 360/480/570 liters – offering a range of about 700 km.
According to Kumar, the CNG’s share of CVs has increased tremendously over the past two years, particularly with the government’s focus on creating more CNG infrastructure across the country. The maximum number of CNGs was available in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Northern India, but now it is spreading across the country. CNG trucks now account for 10 per cent of the market and the remaining 90 per cent in diesel and 40 per cent in the ICV range, he said.
Asked about the overall market scenario in the red for the past two years due to the epidemic and the lack of semiconductor, Kumar said it may continue for a while, but demand is back.
The company sold 7,561 M & HCV units in January, a jump of 11 per cent compared to 6,839 units in January 2021.