Ashok Leyland scouts for battery companies for e Vehicles

MUMBAI: Ashok Leyland is scouting for a battery maker to power its expansion into the electric vehicles space, encouraged by the government push to less-polluting mass mobility systems. The Chennai-based company has budgeted Rs 120 crore to develop almost half a dozen electric solutions.

The power ministry has the vision to put 18,000-20,000 of such buses on Indian roads by end of this decade. Storage solutions, essentially rechargeable batteries, are crucial in the development of electric vehicles.

The company is looking at various options, right from bringing in malleable batteries onto the bus, quick charging solutions and battery swapping to address range and cost issues, said T Venkataraman, senior vice president of global buses division.

“We are looking to acquire battery manufacturing firms,” he told ET. “We are engaging with anyone who is saying, ‘You have a chassis, I have a strategy, let’s do something together’. The entire emphasis is to see how we make the electric bus acquisition cheaper.”