Double decker buses are cool. Maybe it’s because they house a lot of people, or maybe the inner child in all of us thinks the idea of a multi-story building down the street is just brilliant. Whatever the reason, they have a certain charm about them. And now, with Switch Mobility’s new electric double-decker bus, that charm gets a modern twist.
The Switch EiV 22 is India’s first electric double-decker bus, and it comes with all the latest in style, technology, safety, comfort and environmental compatibility. The bus is equipped with robust and long-lasting NMC chemical batteries, which increase range and efficiency. Plus, with an order bank of 200 double-decker buses for BEST (Mumbai’s most prolific double-decker bus operator), this bus is sure to cause a stir.
The Switch EiV 22 has been designed, developed and manufactured in India from the ground up to utilize Switch’s global electric bus experience. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, a state-of-the-art design that incorporates high safety standards and top-notch comfort features. The revamped iconic double-decker bus is designed to revolutionize public transport in the country by setting new standards in intra-city buses.
“There is a need to transform the country’s transport system from a long-term perspective. By focusing on urban transport reform, we are trying to build an integrated low-footprint, high-passenger-density EV mobility ecosystem,” Shri said. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India. “Government vision and policies support the adoption of electric vehicles with growing consumer demand for greener solutions. I would like to commend Switch Mobility, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, for being the one who revived the double-decker bus and for remaining committed to introducing new technologies for the benefit of passengers and society at large.
The Switch EiV 22 represents a significant improvement in terms of packaging, becoming the world’s first air-conditioned semi-low-floor electric bus with a wider door on the rear overhang and a rear staircase. The double-decker bus’s lightweight aluminum body structure has a better passenger-to-weight ratio and lower cost per passenger mile.
With only 18% more curb weight, the Switch double-decker electric bus can carry almost twice as many people seated as a comparable single-decker bus. The double stage architecture is based on a 650 V system, which is also used by Switch EiV 12, which was launched in June 2022.
“As a carbon-neutral mobility company, Switch is focused on delivering innovative solutions to help authorities and operators decarbonize their public transportation systems,” said Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Switch. Mobility Ltd. “The Switch EiV 22 is the latest innovation of its kind. and leverages our expertise in the electric double-decker bus segment to deliver a product of unrivaled efficiency in the Indian market. With our Switch EiV 22 buses and Metrodecker, we are now well positioned to address the global double-decker bus market and help cities achieve their net zero goals.
The double-decker bus has a stylish interior and a pleasant exterior. With wide front and rear doors, two stairways and an emergency door, the air conditioning provides efficient cooling in the hot weather conditions of India. Seating optimized for 65 passengers is the maximum number of seats to be offered in the given footprint. Each seat has a lightweight cushion and the interiors feature car-like comfort for passenger comfort. This double-decker electric bus is perfect for commuting around town as it takes up less space on the road, in terminals and in depots per seated passenger.
“We are delighted to unveil the Switch EiV 22, the first and only electric double-decker bus in India. We have endeavored to meet multiple challenges to meet the demands of new age customers, while maintaining the iconic double decker lineage,” said Mr. Mahesh Babu, CEO – Switch Mobility India, COO. “The Switch EiV 22 is designed and developed to meet Indian conditions, while providing superior comfort and enjoyment to customers. Mumbai and double-decker buses are synonymous with public transport, and we are sure that Switch EiV 22 will call back no only great memories to the Mumbaikars but will transform the public transport space in terms of sustainability and footprint which is the need of the hour in India.”
The Switch EiV 22 is a battery-powered double-decker bus that can travel up to 250 km on a single charge. The battery is made of high-density NMC chemistry and 2 liquid-cooled strings, with a capacity of 231 kWh. It also has a dual gun loading system.
The country’s largest bus manufacturer has already placed an order for 200 electric double-deckers in Mumbai and aims to establish a strong presence in the electric double-decker bus market in key regions of India. Manufacturing bus components in India will enable BusIndia to meet FAME II requirements.
“It is an extremely proud moment for us as we bring the iconic double decker back to India. Ashok Leyland was a pioneer among Indian manufacturers when he first launched the double decker in 1967 in Mumbai and Switch continues this legacy,” said Mr. Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman of Switch Mobility. “With our strong expertise in double decker buses in both India and the UK and with over 100 electric Switch in service on UK roads, we are pleased to not only bring this icon back to life and look forward to introducing new electrical products for the Indian and European markets, always keeping customers first.
Transit is an excellent target for electrifying low-income markets
Making electric vehicles available at affordable prices for low-income people is a challenge even in the wealthiest countries, but it’s even harder in developing countries like India. Even with gas-powered cars, automakers often cut corners and do horrible things, like selling cars with zero-star crash test ratings.
But, when many people are riding in the same vehicle, the cost of buying an electric vehicle is spread over many more people. Combine that with cost savings (both in fuel and maintenance), and it could even make public transport more affordable. It can also make public transport more reliable.
So beyond the coolness of bringing an icon back to Mumbai, it is something that can benefit the general public in many ways.
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