Medilytix Bureau: Ashok Leyland, India’s largest bus maker, and its EV subsidiary, Switch Mobility, have entered into an agreement with Chalo, an app-based public transport operator, to supply over 5000 electric buses over a period of three years.

This would translate into an order value of close to $1 billion. The funding for the production of these buses will be managed by Switch and Ohm Mobility’s fund raised from private equity, which is likely to be closed shortly.

The order from an App-based aggregator is expected to drive last-mile clean mobility in the country, which has already got a strong fillip from the government of India, which has floated a tender for over 5500 electric buses.

While Switch Mobility will be manufacturing these buses, its own sister company, OHM Mobility, will operate the same in partnership with Chalo.

The buses will be deployed across metros and other cities, which includes the initial deployment of variants of Switch EiV 12.

Mahesh Babu, COO, Switch Mobility Ltd., said the changing mobility landscape in India is significantly altering the way people travel within cities. Given Switch’s vision to accelerate the adoption of clean, sustainable electric transportation solutions, he is delighted to partner with Chalo for a first-of-its-kind partnership in this space.

“We aim to transform urban mobility in the country by leveraging Chalo’s strong customer reach and operational expertise along with our technologically advanced electric vehicle products. This significant partnership of 5000 electric buses will certainly open up access to affordable, comfortable, hassle-free, and environmentally friendly transport solutions, while enhancing the overall customer experience, “added Babu.

The Switch-Chalo partnership believes that the venture is solving the problem of congestion and offers a cleaner, more reliable solution for the public at one-sixth the cost of a cab, one-third the cost of an autorickshaw, with the comfort of a car, and hence the solution offers significant business potential.

Mohit Dubey, Co-Founder & CEO, Chalo, said, “Last year we finalised a project to add 1,000 new buses in three of our cities.” Today, we are glad to partner with Switch on a scale that is 5x larger. The travel experience in these buses will be on par with global cities like Hong Kong and Singapore. We are confident that this collaboration will propel our collective journey towards building sustainable cities.”

Chalo operates over a billion rides a year, running 4000 buses across 40 cities. The company claims to create a Gross Merchandise Value, or GMV, of 230 million dollars a year.

With the addition of Switch Mobility’s fleet, the incremental GMV annually could be about 450 million dollars. Once the entire fleet of 5000 electric buses is operationalized, Switch-Chalo is set to offer 15 million rides daily.

And all this will reduce the carbon footprint and fuel import bills, which is a critical demand from the government of India.

These buses will save over 286,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to 1.7 million trees’ capacity to consume CO2 and 86 million litres of and is India’s #1 bus tracking app, claims the company.

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