Ashok Leyland had announced that it intends to enter the electric commercial vehicles segment (ECV) in 2017 and the Hinduja group flagship has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Israel-based Phinergy to produce Indian specific EVs.It has been learnt that Phinergy has developed cutting-edge technology solutions for use of aluminium air batteries for EVs and other applications.
With Ashok Leyland, Phinergy will tailor this technology to meet high-energy requirements of commercial vehicles in India.
Both the companies will work towards adaptation of unique, competitive and sustainable solutions in the commercial vehicles space.
This arrangement follows Ashok Leyland’s strategic alliance with Sun Mobility, a company promoted by Chetan Maini, founder of electric car Reva, for smart electric mobility solutions a few months ago.
It may be recalled that at a pact-signing meeting with Sun Mobility, Ashok Leyland’s Managing Director and CEO, Vinod K Dasari had said the company hoped to get at least 15 per cent of its total bus volume from electric offerings by 2020.
To put it into context, in December 2017, the company posted a growth of 79 per cent, in comparison with the corresponding month the previous year, selling 19,253 vehicles.
Currently, Ashok Leyland has two electric bus ranges – indigenously developed Circuit range and offerings from its UK subsidiary Optare. Both cater to the long-distance travel segment.
“As the EV market evolves in India, Ashok Leyland remains committed to developing differentiated solutions for our customers to help them stay competitive. We see good potential for Phinergy’s technology in India. This will add to our portfolio of commercial vehicle EVs, where we are committed to offering our customers competitive solutions with various options that use cutting-edge technology,” said Karthick Athmanathan, head of EV and e-mobility solutions, Ashok Leyland.
“Over the next few months, we will develop the first few prototypes and trial pilots on different platforms in order to better tune Phinergy’s offering for various CV applications. Our approach to ECVs will continue to be such that we move people and goods rather than batteries with optimal use of battery capacities,” said SA Sundaresan, head of eMobility tech at Ashok Leyland.
“We are excited to be part of India’s EV ecosystem and are happy to be offering our technology for CV applications through this relationship with a strong Indian player like Ashok Leyland, which also has a commanding global presence. We believe that our high-technology solutions will help the Indian customer keep costs low while addressing range anxiety and reliability. We look forward to rapidly developing our offering and scaling up operations for CV applications in India with Ashok Leyland, with whom we have worked closely over the last year,” said Aviv Tzidon, CEO of Phinergy.
“Given the grid and power position in most markets, this will be the first time that EV commercial vehicles will have a grid-independent solution that is cost-effective as well as emission-free,” said David Mayer, vice-president of business development at Phinergy.