Optare is to be renamed Switch Mobility by Ashok Leyland, subject to regulatory approval. The name change “signals our strategic ambitions in electric and green mobility,” says Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman of Optare’s Indian owner Ashok Leyland.
Mr Hinduja adds that Ashok Leyland is examining various options to bring all its electric vehicle initiatives under the Switch Mobility brand as part of global aspirations.
Optare’s existing work in battery-electric buses forms the basis for Switch Mobility, but Ashok Leyland Managing Director and CEO Vipin Sondhi says that the proposal for it to capture all of the group’s electric vehicles would see the Swich Mobility brand extend to other vehicle types.
Adds Dr Andrew Palmer, Optare Chairman: “The reorganisation of the Optare group allows us to continue to serve customers with the portfolio of products that we have today, while positioning Switch Mobility at the forefront of the commercial EV space. That should benefit the entire organisation.”
Optare recently announced an order for battery-electric Metrodecker EVs from Go-Ahead London that will take to over 100 the number of the type in service by May 2021. Optare is also working with Arcola Energy on the hydrogen fuel cell-electric Metrodecker H2. The company recently signalled its intent to expand into Eastern Europe by appointing a Regional Sales Manager there.
Optare completed its first buses in 1985 on Dennis and Leyland chassis. It progressed to producing integral vehicles in the 1990s.