Ashok Leyland first introduced the double-decker bus in Mumbai in 1967, being the pioneer among Indian manufacturers. On 18 August 2022 , Switch Mobility, Ashok Leyland’s electric vehicle arm, is carrying on that legacy by unveiling the country’s first electric double-decker air-conditioned bus. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari unveilled India’s first Double Decker AC electric bus in Mumbai.
Double Decker AC electric bus: Switch EiV 22
Designed, developed and manufactured in India and utilising Switch’s global electric bus experience, Switch EiV 22 is equipped with the latest technology, ultra-modern design, highest safety and best-in-class comfort features. In June 2022, Switch had launched this state-of-the-art electric bus platform ‘SWITCH EiV 12’ for the Indian market.
The Switch EiV range of buses have been uniquely configured to meet customer requirements of varied applications like intra-city, inter-city, staff, school and tarmac, offering maximum passenger capacity and comfort. The buses are also equipped with a new generation of highly efficient, modular batteries with advanced lithium-ion NMC chemistry, specially formulated for the Indian market and climatic conditions.
The architecture of the electric double decker bus uses a 650 V system – the same platform as Switch EiV 12, launched in June 2022, which is also common with Switch e1. The 231 kWh capacity modular batteries increase the capacity per battery cell for the same weight, enabling higher range of kilometers – up to 300 kms/day with single charge, and up to 500 kms/day with dual gun fast charging.
The electric drivetrains and batteries are calibrated to ensure superior efficiency with long battery life, delivering lower total cost of ownership in the market. Maintenance of this ultra-modern E-Bus can be carried out quickly and effortlessly.
The current range of Switch EV buses in India, having an uptime of over 98% consistently through the last few years, is a testimony to our product performance in terms of reliability and durability. The buses have clocked over 8 million kms in India, saving over 5000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to planting more than 30,000 trees, thus delivering on key strategic milestones in support of the brand’s mission: to enrich lives through green mobility and deliver cleaner, smarter journeys that are accessible to all.
The new electric double-decker bus will be the world’s first – semi low floor, air conditioned, electric double-decker with wider door on rear overhang and a rear staircase. The double decker has a lightweight aluminium body construction, which offers higher passenger-to-weight ratio and a competitive cost per km, per passenger.
The Switch electric double decker can ferry nearly twice the number of seated passengers as a comparable single decker bus with just 18% increase in kerb weight.
Other NEWS: BYD Plans to launch electric SUV Atto 3 in India
Currently the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles by volumes, China-based BYD is looking to enter the mainstream EV market in India. BYD has been functional in India since 2007, but earlier its operations were limited to manufacturing of batteries, electronic parts and mobile phones.
Since 2016, BYD has started supplying batteries and bus chassis to electric bus manufacturer Olectra. In 2021, BYD had launched e6 electric MPV at a starting price of Rs 29.6 lakh. e6 MPV has range of 520 km and it is sold exclusively to corporate and fleet customers. With e6 receiving good response, BYD is looking to target the passenger EV segment.
BYD Atto 3 will initially be assembled at the company facility in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai. Over the next two years, BYD plans to sell 10,000 assembled vehicles in India.