Switch Mobility, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, had announced a sum of $200 million (approx. ₹1,500 crores) to develop commercial electric vehicles earlier this year. The development seems to be on track as the company showcased its EV double-decker air-conditioned bus in India on August 18, 2022. The double-decker bus, named the Switch EiV 22, will be the first of its kind in India and will join the fleet of BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) soon.
The iconic Mumbai double-decker buses were built by Ashok Leyland in 1967, and now the company has passed the baton to its subsidiary, Switch Mobility. The ICE-powered double-decker buses in Mumbai were discontinued a while back due to high operational costs. Switch Mobility has managed to revive it in an EV avatar and will once again excite tourists and locals alike.
Dheeraj Hinduja, chairman of Switch Mobility, said that the firm has expertise in developing double-deckers as there are currently over 100 such electric buses in service in the UK. Moreover, the Switch EiV 22 is developed according to Indian conditions and gets liquid cooling tech for the battery pack to avoid any mishaps.
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Mahesh Babu, CEO of Switch Mobility India and COO at Switch Mobility Ltd., revealed in an interview with PTI that the firm has secured an order of 200 electric double-decker buses from BEST, and will look forward to delivering 50 buses by the end of this financial year.
Switch EiV 22: Highlights
The Switch EiV 22 is a double-decker electric bus and gets contemporary styling. The bus is built with a lightweight aluminium body and is claimed to offer a higher passenger-to-weight ratio. It is powered by a 231kWh NMC battery pack, which is liquid-cooled and supports a dual-gun charging system. It is claimed to offer a driving range of 250km with a competitive cost per kilometre.
The bus comes with massive glass areas on both the upper and lower decks. It can carry 30 passengers (seated) on the lower deck and about 35 people (seated) on the upper deck. The bus is fully air-conditioned and has two staircases, one on the front and one at the rear. For driver assistance, there’s a reverse camera to manoeuvre this behemoth. For a comfortable ride, the Switch EiV 22 comes with an advanced air suspension system to take the Mumbai potholes in its stride.