Mumbai gets India's first electric double-decker bus: Range, features explained

The electric double-decker bus inducted into Mumbai's public transport body BEST has been developed by Switch Mobility, which is owned by commercial v
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Mumbai's public transport body Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST)’s inducted India’s first AC double-decker electric bus. (HT_PRINT)
Mumbai's public transport body Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST)’s inducted India’s first AC double-decker electric bus.

Mumbai is the first city in India to get an electric double-decker bus. The first of the air-conditioned double-decker electric bus was inducted into the fleet of BEST, Mumbai's public transport body on Monday. The induction has taken place after several months of delay. The city is now expected to see around 20 such double-decker electric buses, called EiV 22, on road by end of March. These electric buses have been leased by BEST from Switch Mobility, the electric commercial vehicle arm of Ashok Leyland. India's first electric double-decker bus was unveiled on August 17 last year by Union Minister Nitin Gadakari in Mumbai.

After registering these electric double-deckers at the Regional Transport Office, the AC buses will hit the Mumbai roads and cater to the suburban routes as a start. The buses will eventually replace the diesel-run conventional double-decker buses Mumbai is famous for. Lokesh Chandra, general manager of the BEST, said the city is expected to add another five in the next few days. By the end of the year, Mumbai will boast of around 200 such electric double-decker e-buses. "Very soon this bus will be dedicated to the public," Chandra was quoted by news agency PTI.

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Switch Mobility's EiV 22 comes equipped with advanced Lithium-ion NMC chemistry with modular battery options. The battery pack has a capacity of 231 kWh and uses liquid cooling. The battery pack can be charged in 1.5 to 3 hours. The battery is large enough to run the electric double-decker bus for up to 250 kms on a single charge.

The EiV 22 draws power from a permanent magnet synchronous AC motor that produces a peak power output of 320 hp and a continuous power output of 190 hp. The peak torque output is rated at 3,100 Nm.

These electric double-decker buses will be manufactured at Switch Mobility's facility in Patalganga in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. The electric double-decker buses come with two doors and staircases to access upper decks. These buses will offer features like digital ticketing, CCTV cameras, live tracking, digital display, and a panic button for emergencies. The buses can seat around 65 passengers, though, if one includes standing passengers, the buses will be able to carry close to 100 passengers at a time.

Though BEST had announced these buses will hit the roads by October last year, there was a delay in certification of the units. According to Switch Mobility, the delay happened due to revised certification process from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

First Published Date: 14 Feb 2023, 10:52 AM IST
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