NEW DELHI, Aug 18: Electric double-decker buses are expected to hit the roads in Mumbai by the end of the next financial year.
Ashok Leyland subsidiary Switch Mobility has expanded its reach in the electric bus market with the launch of the new EiV 22 double-decker e-bus.
Giving information on India’s first all-electric air-conditioned double decker bus, Mahesh Babu, CEO, of Switch Mobility India said the buses have a range of up to 250km per charge. Switch Mobility has already received orders for the bus which will be used by Mumbai’s BEST. The order is for 200 buses with Switch Mobility to handle the vehicle’s operations and maintenance through its subsidiary OHM Mobility.
He said the buses would be operated out of two depots – Kurla and Colaba – with the first units to be delivered in Q4 FY2023. Speaking on the vehicle’s operations he added “The BEST team will hand over two depots to us, one is likely to be Kurla and Colaba. They will house the buses. Their chargers will be deployed at these two depots and we will use them exclusively for it.”
The double-decker bus has a seating capacity of up to 65 passengers with the lower deck also designed to accommodate standing occupants. The EV 22 uses a 231 kWh capacity Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NMC) battery pack featuring liquid cooling and dual gun charging – the same as on the EiV 12. The electric bus features a powertrain supplied by Dana with the battery pack assembled at the company’s plant. The battery cells meanwhile have been sourced from China.
Babu also said the company’s previous expertise in making an electric double-decker bus for UK markets played a role in the development of the model. “Substantially, absolutely, all the operational runnings, some of the light weighting of the technologies, we have used from that here. A lot of learnings have been cross deployed into the Indian design,” he said. The buses are being manufactured at its plant in Ennore, Tamil Nadu. The buses will be manufactured as powered chassis units at the plant with the body for the buses for Mumbai being manufactured by a partner on the outskirts of the city.