Former Nissan COO and Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has been named executive vice chairman and CEO of Switch Mobility, a new electrified commercial vehicles group backed by the Hinduja Group which combines the electric commercial vehicle operations of Ashok Leyland and the former Optare company.

Nitin Seth is chief operating officer, Sarwant Singh Saini chief planning officer and Roger Blakey chief technical officer. Further appointments will be announced soon.

With the combined expertise of UK and Indian companies, Switch said in a statement, it would build on its experience of having 280 electric vehicles in service with over 26m miles covered.

Technological collaboration with companies including Siemens deliver e-mobility products claimed to offer the lowest total cost of ownership for CV customers in India.

Switch said it had already signed customer agreements with “leading logistic operators” and secured orders for a 2000-strong e-LCV fleet with customer trials starting this month.

Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja 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 Palmer at the helm, we will accelerate our vision to be at the forefront in this field soon.”

Palmer said: “Switch holds a unique position in an increasingly competitive marketplace with our EV commercial vehicles already clocking millions of miles in service. We embrace the ethos of a start-up and enjoy the legacies of intellectual property, borne from more than a decade of technical expertise and engineering experience, that is already revenue-generating and delivering for our customers.

“I 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.”