CHENNAI: The iconic double-decker bus is back in India and people from Mumbai are the first to enjoy rides that was unveiled today. Notably, with changing times and growing consciousness about global warming, this time, the bus is set to run on electricity and not on fuel.
Switch Mobility Ltd (‘Switch’), unveiled India’s first and unique electric double-decker air-conditioned bus - Switch EiV 22.
The new electric double-decker bus will be the world's first - semi-low floor, air-conditioned, electric double-decker with a wider door on a rear overhang and a rear staircase. The double-decker has a lightweight aluminium body construction, which offers a 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 an 18% increase in kerb weight. The interiors and exteriors comply with the contemporary style. The double-decker has a wide front and rear doors, two staircases and an emergency door which follows the latest safety standards. The AC offers effective cooling in India’s hot climatic conditions, while the optimized seating 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 come with car-like comfort for passenger convenience.
“There is a need to transform the country’s transport system from a long-term perspective. With a focus on reforming urban transport, we are trying to build a low footprint and high passenger density integrated EV mobility ecosystem. The government’s vision and policies are supportive of EV adoption with growing consumer demand for greener solutions. I would like to congratulate Switch Mobility, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, for being the one to revive the double-decker and remain committed to introducing new technologies for the benefit of passengers and society, at large," said Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India.
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. The renewed iconic double-decker bus is designed to revolutionize public transportation in the country and will set new standards in the intra-city bus market," according to a statement by the company.
Switch India has already secured an order of 200 electric double-decker buses in Mumbai and is looking at a dominant space in the electric double-decker segment, across key regions in the country.