Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle division of Hinduja Group’s flagship Ashok Leyland, unveiled its EiV22 double-decker electric bus on Thursday. The introduction of these 66-seater buses will help Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) convert its current fleet of double-decker buses to electric as it seeks to make travel greener by 2028.
Mumbai is the only city in the country to have double-decker buses in service. Parent company of Switch Mobility Ashok Leyland first double-decker buses launched in 1967. Switch Mobility has already rolled out electric double-decker buses in the UK, the company said.
“Ashok Leyland was a pioneer among Indian manufacturers when it first launched the double decker in 1967 in Mumbai and Switch carries on this legacy. With our strong expertise in double deckers, in India and the UK and with over 100 Switch electric double-deckers in service on UK roads, we are reinforcing our commitment to creating this form factor (design) for India and the world,” said Dheeraj Hinduja, President of Switch Mobility.
Today, there is no double-decker market in India, which will change as cities grow and get congested, said Mahesh Babu, CEO of Switch Mobility India and COO of Switch.
“Everyone is watching the pilot project happen in Mumbai. If Mumbai is successful, I think it will open up a whole market,” Babu told PTI.
The EiV22 AC double-decker electric bus is powered by a 231 kWh capacity battery with a dual-gun charging system, which allows the bus to have a range of up to 250 kilometers for intra-city transport. urban, according to the company.
“The Switch EiV 22 is designed and developed to meet Indian conditions. Mumbai and double decker buses are synonymous with public transport, and we are confident that the EiV 22 will transform the public transport space in terms of sustainability and footprint,” Babu said.
Switch has secured an order for 200 buses from BEST, which it expects to deliver by next fiscal year in installments and is open to “participating” if the standalone body launches another tender, it said. he declares.
“We already have an order for 200 AC double-decker electric buses from BEST. We will deliver 50 of these buses this fiscal year. Many other cities are talking to us for these buses,” he said, noting that the company s expects to deliver 150-250 AC double-decker electric buses next year.
In April this year, Switch Mobility announced a £300 million investment to develop a range of electric buses and light commercial vehicles in India and the UK.
Switch India expects to secure a significant share of this investment in the initial phase given the pace at which vehicle electrification is taking place in the country and also volumes which are much higher compared to the UK and Spain. .
But it will also depend on the market, on its growth, he added.
According to him, the latest double-decker bus offers 86% more capacity compared to a single-decker bus, which was made possible by increasing the weight of the bus by 18%.
In addition, it takes up 41% less space than an ordinary floor or floor, and therefore can compensate for 32 cars on the road, and can lead to a substantial reduction, he said.
“The Group has a clear vision to help economies achieve their net zero goals through zero emissions renewable energy, finance and transport. We are confident that our new zero-emission double-decker bus will deliver a cleaner and more sustainable future, reinforcing our commitment. for India and the world,” said Ashok Hinduja, Chairman of Hinduja Group of Companies (India).
Switch had announced in March that it would enter continental Europe with a new installation in Spain.
For India, Babu said, the company is considering a dedicated facility, but not in the near future as it uses the company’s multiple assets.
“We are using these facilities to scale. In parallel, we are looking for a dedicated facility for Switch. It is not decided [by when]. If we decide now, it [the 9th facility] will take two years to arrive,” he said.
Babu, however, said the company has a production capacity of 2,500 buses, which it will be able to increase to 5,000 in a short period of six months.
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