Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle division of Hinduja group's flagship Ashok Leyland, unveiled the country's first electric double-decker air-conditioned bus here on Thursday. These buses will replace the existing double-decker fleet of the BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) undertaking.

As of now, Switch is operating its twin-floor electric AC buses in the UK. 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, the company said.

"We already have an order for 200 electric double-decker AC buses in Mumbai. We will deliver 50 of these buses this financial year. Many more cities are discussing with us for these buses," Mahesh Babu, CEO – Switch Mobility India and COO at Switch Mobility Ltd told PTI.

Babu said amid discussions with multiple players, "we are expecting to deliver some 150-250 buses next year." In April this year, Switch Mobility announced an investment of £300 million to develop a range of electric buses and light commercial vehicles in India and the UK.

‘Carrying forward the legacy’

"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. With our strong expertise in double-deckers, both in India and UK and with over 100 Switch electric double-deckers in service on UK roads, we reinforce our commitment to creating this form factor (design) for India and the globe," said Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Switch Mobility.

The electric double-decker AC bus EiV22 is powered by a 231 kWh capacity battery pack with dual gun charging system, which allows the bus to have a range up to 250 kms for intra-city transport, according to the company.

"The Switch EiV 22 is designed and developed to meet Indian conditions. Mumbai and double-deckers are synonymous with public transport, and we are certain that EiV 22 will transform the public transport space in terms of sustainability and footprint," said Babu.