Mumbai’s BEST gets India’s first electric double-decker bus
Brings back iconic double-decker as an EV; order bank of 200 double decker buses for BEST; robust and long-lasting NMC chemistry batteries help deliver increased range and efficiency
Switch Mobility, the next-generation, carbon-neutral electric bus and light commercial vehicle company, today unveiled India’s first and unique electric double-decker air-conditioned bus – the Switch EiV 22.
Designed, developed and manufactured in India and utilising Switch’s global electric bus experience, Switch EiV 22 is equipped with the latest technology, ultra-modern design, highest safety and best-in-class comfort features. The renewed iconic double-decker bus is designed to revolutionise public transportation in the country and will set new standards in the intra-city bus market.
The Switch EiV 22 is a significant achievement in terms of packaging, making it the world's first - semi low floor, air conditioned, electric double decker with wider door on rear overhang and a rear staircase. The double decker has a lightweight aluminium body construction, which offers higher passenger to weight ratio and a competitive cost per km, per passenger.
Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, said, “There is a need to transform the country’s transport system from a long-term perspective. With focus on reforming urban transport, we are trying to build a low footprint and high passenger density integrated EV mobility ecosystem. Government’s vision and policies are supportive towards EV adoption with growing consumer demand for greener solutions. I would like to congratulate Switch Mobility, subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, for being the one to revive the double decker and remain committed to introducing new technologies for the benefit of passengers and society, at large.”
Commenting on the launch, Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman - Switch Mobility, said, “It’s an extremely proud moment for us as we bring back the iconic double-decker to India. Ashok Leyland was a pioneer among Indian manufacturers when it first launched the double-decker in 1967 in Mumbai and Switch is carrying forward that legacy.”
Andy Palmer, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO – Switch Mobility Ltd, commented, “As a carbon neutral mobility company Switch is focused on delivering innovative solutions to help authorities and operators decarbonise their public transport systems. The Switch EiV 22 is the latest such innovation and builds on our expertise within the electric double-decker segment to deliver a product with class leading efficiency for the Indian market. With our Switch EiV 22 and Metrodecker buses, we are now well positioned to address the global double-decker market and support cities in meeting their net zero targets.”
Talking about the brand’s entry into the EV double decker space for the Indian market, Mahesh Babu, CEO – Switch Mobility India, COO – Switch Mobility, said, “The Switch EiV 22 is designed and developed to meet Indian conditions, while at the same time provide superior customer comfort and delight. Mumbai and double deckers are synonymous with public transport, and we are certain that Switch EiV 22 will not only bring back fond memories for Mumbaikars, but will transform the public transport space in terms of sustainability and footprint which is the need of the hour in India.”
The Switch electric double decker can ferry nearly twice the number of seated passengers as a comparable single decker bus with just 18% increase in kerb weight. The architecture of the double decker uses a 650 V system - the same platform as Switch EiV 12, launched in June 2022, which is also common with Switch e1.
With contemporary styling and feel-good interiors and exteriors, the double decker boasts of wide front and rear doors, two staircases and an emergency door complying with the latest safety standards. The AC offers effective cooling in India’s hot climatic conditions, while the optimized seating for 65 passengers is the maximum number of seats to be offered in the given footprint. Each seat has a lightweight cushion and the interiors come with car like comfort for passenger convenience. This state-of-the-art electric double decker serves as an ideal solution for urban commuting, as they occupy less road, terminal and depot floor space per seated passenger.
Powering Switch EiV 22 is a 231 kWh capacity, 2-string, liquid cooled, higher density NMC chemistry battery pack with dual gun charging system. This enables the electric double decker to have a range up to 250 kms for intra city applications.
Switch India has already secured an order of 200 electric double decker buses in Mumbai and is looking at a dominant space in the electric double decker segment, across key regions in the country.
Bus components are manufactured in India which will enable to achieve FAME II compliance.
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