Sherburn bus-maker joins new electric group

Optare, the manufacturer of low-emissions buses based at Sherburn-in-Elmet, has combined with the electric commercial vehicle operations of parent Ashok Leyland to launch Switch Mobility Ltd, a new electrified commercial vehicles group backed by ultimate parent Hinduja Group.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 1:00 am
An Optare electric bus operated by the Harrogate Bus Company.
An Optare electric bus operated by the Harrogate Bus Company.

The aim of the new entity is to secure a leading global position in net zero-carbon buses and light commercial vehicles.

Optare chairman Dr Andy Palmer – formerly CEO of Aston Martin – has been appointed as executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer.

He said: “Switch holds a unique position in an increasingly competitive marketplace with our EV commercial vehicles already clocking millions of miles in service.

“I’m delighted to have become part of the executive leadership team and believe we have all the required ingredients to become a leading global e-bus and e-truck player, trail-blazing the way to zero-carbon public transport.”

With teams in UK and India, Switch has already signed customer agreements with leading logistic operators and secured orders for a 2,000-strong e-LCV fleet; customer trials start this month.

Dheeraj Hinduja, chairman of Switch Mobility, said: “Hinduja Group is focused on providing the needed thrust to our on-going initiatives in the rapidly growing zero carbon mobility sector. This is orchestrated through combining the advanced engineering and development skills in the UK and India to address the demand in global markets.

“I am confident that with Andy Palmer at the helm, we will accelerate our vision to be at the forefront in this field soon.”