Centre and State government in India are taking initiatives to promote the use of electric vehicles. To make them more popular among buyers, many states are currently offering incentives. Some of states have already introduced electric vehicles in public transport network. Mumbai is also planning to introduce more electric buses for public use. The authorities are not planning for a regular electric bus. It would be India’s first double decker electric bus. The bus was recently spotted on the road before its inaugural display on 18th August. The buses would be available for public use from September only.
— Suraj Wadekar (@WadekarSuraj) August 17, 2022
The video shows a electric double-decker bus on a highway. It was earlier confirmed that the electric double-decker bus is ready with all necessary permissions. It looks like the authorities were conducting some final rounds of test before they hand over the bus to BEST or Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking officials. BEST currently has more that 400 single decker electric buses in their fleet. Other than this, they have also placed an order for 900 electric buses in phases. Fifty percent of these would be delivered by March 2023.
The electric bus spotted testing on the road looks extremely good. The bus is finished in Red shade and is fully air conditioned. The Red and Black and combination on the bus would remind you of London’s double-decker bus. The bus seen here in manufactured by Switch Mobility which is UK subsidiary of Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland. The model seen here in the video is probably a new version of their Metrodecker double-decker electric bus. The bus looks extremely good in terms of design and space.
Switch Mobility claims that Metrodecker is the lightest bus in its class and has the largest capacity along with longest driving range. From the video, the bus looks extremely spacious and is expected to offer a comfortable ride. Metrodecker comes with a 250 kW electric motor which draws power from a 300 kWh battery pack. The bus has a capacity of up to 99 passengers and on a single charge it can do around 190 miles or 305 km. The specifications that are mentioned here are for the older version of metro decker. The new version of Metrodecker which would be launched in India might have come with a different specification.
With pollution levels rising in many parts of India, government has to take such steps to bring things under control. Recently, there were reports about Convergence Energy Services Ltd., a state-owned company which is considering a $10 billion procurement for 50,000 electric buses. This tender is aimed to support India’s mission to decarbonize public transportation and achieve net zero emissions. Metrodecker will not be the first product to be launched by Switch Mobility in India. They debut Indian market with Switch EiV 12. The Ashok Leyland’s EV wing delivered around 75 electric buses to Karnataka few days ago.
Coming back, the BEST undertaking offers bus transport within Brihan-Mumbai limits and also in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mira-Bhayander areas. On an avrage 2.9 million people travel daily through 63,700 trips operated on 505 bus routes with the help of 3,800 electric buses. With the addition of electric double-decker buses into the fleet, the BEST undertaking aims to attract more passengers towards an eco-friendly ride.