Optare to become Switch Mobillity as Ashok Leyland focuses on EVs

Ashok Leyland is to drop the Optare name and is re-badging its UK subsidiary as Switch Mobility to reflect its drive towards electrification and new mobility services. 

“Optare is adopting a new identity and logo as Switch, which signals our strategic ambitions in electric and green mobility,” says Dheeraj Hinduja, chairman, Ashok Leyland. “Towards this, Ashok Leyland is examining various options to bring the entire EV initiatives of Ashok Leyland under Switch Mobility. 

“This strategy reflects the clear growth opportunities in the global LCV and bus EV market, which is projected to grow at more than 25 per cent annually and to be worth in the region of $50billion by 2030. To capture part of that market, we are considering EV initiatives through Switch that could include financial participation and strategic tie-ups.” 

Switch will build on the success of Optare in the UK, where it is a leading player in electric buses with more than 150 of them currently operating successfully in its home market. Optare, the forerunner of Switch, was recently named OEM of the Year (Bus/Commercial Vehicle) at the prestigious 2020 EVIEs Awards. 

Optare had completed delivery of 30 electric double-decks to Metroline in London, and is currently fulfilling orders for operators including Tower Transit, London and First York. Ashok Leyland says this will create a foundation for the expansion of Switch’s operations in Europe and growth in India and other parts of the world. 

Vipin Sondhi, managing director & CEO, Ashok Leyland, adds: “Ashok Leyland is a pioneer in delivering innovative commercial vehicles and mobility solutions. 

“With our proposed new structure, Switch will be positioned to become the potential global arm of Ashok Leyland focused on electric vehicles and green mobility solutions. 

“This proposed step will enable Ashok Leyland to focus on the development of new electric vehicle platforms through Switch including next-generation Buses, PODs and E-LCVs and swiftly scale up the EV business.”