Stepping up its clean mobility initiatives, Tube Investments of India (TII), subsidiary of Murugappa group, has announced to launch its second EV product, the electric heavy commercial vehicle (e-HCV) by the next month.
This follows the company’s e-three-wheeler launch under the Montra brand, in September this year.
The plan is to start selling limited number of e-trucks, about 30-50 a month until the demand scales up. The company has plans to set up a manufacturing plant for e-HCVs.
TII had, in July this year, acquired lPLTech Electric, an electric heavy commercial vehicle company, based out of Gurugram, through which the company will start its e-HCV business.
Vellayan Subbiah, Executive Vice-Chairman, TII, told analysts that the second EV launch will be the heavy commercial vehicles where it will start selling limited number of trucks about 30 and 50 trucks a month. There has been a tremendous response in terms of interest in the product and it looks like the company will be supply constrained initially. “We are working on a new facility that we hope to be ready in the first quarter of FY ’24. Therefore, we might have a more formal launch in the final quarter of this year,” he said.
TII had formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, TI Clean Mobility, to focus on EV initiatives. It had previously said that it is working on four EV platforms with plans to invest `250 crore in each, taking the total investment to Rs 1,000 crore. The company said it is currently working on platforms for a three-wheeler, tractor and heavy commercial vehicles, and the fourth one is in the works.
On the e-tractor front, the company expects to launch the product either in the last quarter this fiscal or in the first quarter of the next fiscal. “We will start off with a very small tractor, which has very niche use cases,” he said. It acquired a 70% stake in Cellestial E-Mobility, a Hyderabad-based startup engaged in the design and manufacture of e-tractors, in January this year.
The company said the response to its e- 3-wheeler has been positive, and it will start selling vehicles in the market by December. It started off with 40 dealers and has been getting interested for potential new dealerships.
“But we are basically going to keep it tight in the beginning, kind of drive our sales through 40 dealerships and then look at a broader expansion based on the success and ensuring that we get the model right with the first 40 dealerships,” Subbiah said.
Initially, the company will be selling the e-3 wheelers in southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It will then gradually move into other states by the first quarter of the next financial year.