Ashok Leyland, one of the largest manufacturers of commercial vehicles, has decided to set up its electric bus manufacturing unit in Uttar Pradesh. If all goes well, then the company may set up the unit in Lucknow.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in this regard between the company and the state government at a programme organised in the presence of chief minister Yogi Adityanath here on Friday.
This new unit is likely to be operationalised in 18 months. The MoU, however, keeps the option of the unit’s location open, those aware of the development said.
Meanwhile, Ashok Leyland has selected the land of Scooters India Limited (SIL) in Lucknow to set up its electric buses manufacturing unit, said infrastructure and industrial development commissioner Manoj Kumar Singh.
“Ashok Leyland is setting up its electric vehicles manufacturing unit in the state. We gave them four to five choices. It has narrowed down the choice to the land of Scooters India Limited in Lucknow. About 70-acre land of SIL will be given to the company for the purpose. An investment of ₹200 to ₹500 crore will be made in the first phase. It will invest ₹1,000 crore later. The company also proposes to manufacture batteries later,” said Singh, who signed the MoU on behalf of the government with the company’s managing director and CEO Shenu Agarwal.
Chairman Ashok Leyland Dheeraj Hinduja said the new unit in Uttar Pradesh would be launched in the next 18 months. “The MoU signed today by the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Ashok Leyland to establish a manufacturing plant in the state reaffirms our commitment to shaping the future of the commercial vehicle industry. We are excited to venture into the vibrant state of Uttar Pradesh, and confident that this new facility will contribute positively to our shared objectives of generating employment opportunities and promoting sustainable mobility in India,” Hinduja wrote on X.
Those aware of the development said the company would initially manufacture 2,500 buses annually. The capacity would be ramped up to 5,000 later. The CM has asked the company to start manufacturing at the unit before Kumbh Mela-2025 as the state government would be buying new electric vehicles for the grand event.
Adityanath, meanwhile, said the company’s decision to invest in Uttar Pradesh was well in time and the whole Hinduja Group would benefit from this. He said the state government was committed to providing security and other facilities to all investors. He said industrial groups that avoided U.P. six years ago were now expanding their units in the state. He said the Uttar Pradesh government was keen to attract investment from the private sector, which was in line with the Net Zero mission. He said the state government was working continuously to promote the manufacturing and operation of electric vehicles, for which it has even issued policies.
Hinduja lauded the state government for taking early decision on the issue saying the discussions regarding investment in Uttar Pradesh were held on August 10, and the MoU was signed with the government within 36 days on September 15. He said if work was carried out efficiently in the same manner in other states too, then it would significantly transform the industrial landscape. He thanked the chief minister and his entire team for making quick decisions.
UP minister for industrial development, export promotion, NRI, and Investment Promotion Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’ said Ashok Leyland’s decision to establish a unit in Uttar Pradesh would further enhance the strength of the company. He said this initiative would create additional employment opportunities for the youth, improve their skills and strengthen the overall economy of the region.