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

Mumbai is the first city in India to have electric double-decker buses. The first air-conditioned double-decker electric bus was inducted into the fleet of Mumbai’s public transport agency BEST on Monday. After months of delays, induction training took place. By the end of March, the city expects to have about 20 of the double-decker electric buses, called EiV 22, on the road. The electric buses are leased by BEST from Ashok Leyland’s electric commercial vehicle division, Switch Mobility. On August 17 last year, Union Minister Nitin Gadakari unveiled India’s first electric double-decker bus in Mumbai.

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Updated on:
February 14, 2023 at 10:52 am

Mumbai’s public transport agency, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), has launched India’s first AC double-decker electric bus. (HT_PRINT)

After registering these electric double-decker buses with the Regional Transport Office, the AC buses will run on Mumbai roads and start catering to suburban routes. These buses will eventually replace Mumbai’s famous diesel-powered traditional double-decker buses. BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra said the city expects to add five more in the next few days. By the end of this year, Mumbai will have about 200 of these electric double-decker electric buses. “Soon this bus will be dedicated to the public,” news agency PTI quoted Chandra as saying.

Switch Mobility’s EiV 22 is equipped with an advanced lithium-ion NMC chemistry and modular battery options. The battery pack has a capacity of 231 kWh and is liquid-cooled. The battery pack can be fully charged in 1.5 to 3 hours. The battery is large enough to allow the electric double-decker bus to travel 250 kilometers on a single charge.

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

The electric double-decker buses will be produced at Switch Mobility’s factory in Patalganga, Raigad district, Maharashtra. The electric double-decker bus is equipped with two doors and stairs to the upper level. The buses will offer features such as digital ticketing, CCTV cameras, real-time tracking, digital displays and panic buttons in case of emergencies. The buses hold about 65 passengers, but if you include standing passengers, the buses can carry close to 100 passengers at a time.

Although BEST had announced that the buses would hit the road last October, there was a delay in the certification of the vehicles. According to Switch Mobility, the delay occurred due to changes to the certification process by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

First published date: Feb 14, 2023 at 10:52 AM CST

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