Mumbai: Ashok Leyland on Tuesday said it has entered into a strategic alliance with Sun Mobility to develop electric mobility solutions.
SUN Mobility plans to revolutionize the transportation sector by deploying a unique open-architecture ecosystem built around their proprietary smart batteries and a network of quick interchange battery stations. These stations, predominantly powered by renewable energy, will refuel electric vehicles at cost lower than and speed faster than conventional diesel/petrol pumps.
SUN Mobility is a 50:50 joint venture between Virya Mobility 5.0 and SUN New Energy Systems that specializes in electric mobility and clean energy. The company is led by Maini, founder of Reva and Uday Khemka, vice chairman of SUN Group.
“Today’s partnership with Sun Mobility is yet another step towards bringing world class solutions to India, developed in India, and by Indians. We are proud of this partnership and hope to bring several new innovative products to the market at the earliest," said Vinod K. Dasari, managing director and chief executive at Ashok Leyland in the statement. 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 Sun’s proprietary batteries along with a network of quick interchange battery stations, said Maini in the statement. “This partnership will help the nation move masses via an efficient, pollution-free and cost-competitive solution for electric mobility," said Maini.
“Right now, it’s an exclusive partnership to develop a swapping charge system together. Once that is done, we will consider other options, said Dasari in a phone interview, alluding to an equity infusion by the companies, he added pointing out that the product will be ready over the next 12 to 18 months.
Dasari said Ashok Leyland is pursuing a three-pronged strategy for electric mobility and its partnership with Sun Mobility is the third pillar of the strategy. While one is about high speed, fast charging vehicles, the other relates to buses that need to be charged overnight. The Circuit, an all-electric vehicle bus it unveiled in October, falls under this category. For the one it will develop with Sun Mobility, the range is immaterial, as every 30 km it will come to bus depot for battery swapping. It will start with intra-city buses and then move on to delivery trucks (up to 12 tonne) and then to inter-city buses and long distance trucks, said Dasari.
“When it comes to electric vehicles, the government is a lot more positive about the mass transport vehicles," he said pointing out that’s the focus for Niti Aayog and National Electric Mobility Mission.