Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle making subsidiary of bus specialist Ashok Leyland, on Friday unveiled India’s first and electric double decker air-conditioned bus, Switch EiV 22, priced at around ₹2 crore.
Designed, developed and manufactured in India and utilising Switch’s global electric bus experience, Switch EiV 22 is world’s first semi-low floor, air conditioned, electric double decker with wider door on rear overhang and a rear staircase.
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) in Mumbai will be the first in the country to get these buses. 200 such buses with a carrying capacity of 90 passengers will be inducted by BEST by June next year, with the first one scheduled to be delivered in the March quarter this year.
Ashok Leyland was the original company to deliver double decker buses to BEST in 1967. Though their numbers have dwindled over the years, they continue to ply on some of the busiest routes in Mumbai.
OHM, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland will own the buses, run the operations and do the charging, maintenance of the vehicle. Switch will look at the annual maintenance contract (AMC) through its dealer partners.
Switch’s electric double decker has a lightweight aluminium body construction — which the company claims offers higher passenger to weight ratio and a competitive cost per km per passenger.
The Switch EiV 22 has a 231-kWh capacity, 2-string, liquid cooled, higher density NMC chemistry battery pack with dual gun charging system. This enables the bus to have a range up to 250 kms for intra-city applications.
The Switch double decker can ferry nearly twice the number of seated passengers as a comparable single decker bus with just 18 per cent 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, which is also common with Switch e1.
Hopes to reduce traffic
Mahesh Babu, CEO-Switch Mobility India and COO – Switch Mobility, said, “The product has been unveiled and the testing and validation will happen in a few months. The chassis will be made at our Ennore plant and the body will be built with our partner in Mumbai.”
Many other cities including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi are discussing on having double decker electric buses given the growing issue of traffic congestion.