India’s first double-decker electric bus officially inaugurated

By Shantonil Nag

Remember the iconic double-decker BEST buses from Mumbai? Many of us have fond memories of the double-decker buses. Switch Mobility, an all-electric subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, is set to make us relive those memories. In a recent development, Switch Mobility has launched the new EiV 22 double-decker bus in India. What’s more interesting is that Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), through its subsidiary OHM Mobility, has already placed an order for 200 EiV 22 double-decker buses for public transport in Mumbai.

According to Mahesh Babu, CEO of Switch Mobility, the EiV 22 double-decker buses will initially ply out of two depots of Colaba and Kurla in Mumbai. These two depots will now be well-equipped with fast chargers for the charging facility for the electric buses. The first units of the double-decker bus will be delivered to BEST in the fourth quarter of FY 2023.

The new Switch EiV 22 shares its underpinnings with the previous-generation EiV 12. With a seating capacity of 65 passengers, the double-decker electric bus claims to be India’s first all-electric air-conditioned electric bus.

Switch EiV 22

The Switch EiV 22 uses a heavy-duty 231 kWh Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NMC) battery pack, which offers a maximum range of 250 km on a single charge. This battery pack uses cells sourced from China, while their assembly into battery packs is done at Switch Mobility’s production facility in Ennore, Tamil Nadu. This battery pack features liquid cooling and a dual gun charging facility and is accompanied by a powertrain sourced from Dana.

Switch Mobility claims that the new EiV 22 will benefit from the incentives of the FAME II scheme. Much of the development of the EiV 22 is based on the expertise it gained while developing electric double-decker buses for the UK. Despite having an additional deck for passengers above, the new Switch EiV 22 weighs only 18 per cent more than the EiV 12 on which it is based.

About the overall design of the EiV 22, it is based on the EiV 12 and uses front and rear doors for easier and faster ingress and egress of passengers. It also has two staircases for accessing the deck above. Switch Mobility has said that the powered chassis units of the buses will be manufactured at the Ennore plant, while the body for the buses will be made in collaboration with a partner in the outskirts of Mumbai.


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