Switch Mobility has an order of 200 electric double-decker EiV buses from Mumbai’s public transport authority.
Mumbai’s roads will soon witness the magic of the double-decker buses, only this time the buses will be electric. Ashok Leyland’s electric vehicle subsidiary, Switch Mobility, delivered the first set of 22 electric double-decker buses to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), Mumbai.
This is the first set of deliveries of the 200 electric double-decker EiV buses ordered for BEST from the light commercial vehicle manufacturer. BEST’s general manager, Lokesh Chandra said that the electric buses will be the first ever air-conditioned, double-decker buses with live tracking devices, CCTV cameras and a panic button for women’s safety, all of which would be running on solar energy.
“It’s a historic moment for BEST to induct India’s first AC, electric double-decker bus in its fleet. These buses will provide a world-class travel experience to Mumbaikars. These buses will be 100% digital with a ‘Tap-in-Tap-out’ facility and will run on 100% solar energy,” he said.
Double-decker buses have ruled the streets of Mumbai for the last seven decades but have withered away from memory in the past few years after manufacturers, especially Ashok Leyland, stopped manufacturing them and heavily indebted public transport operators across India, stopped buying them. Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, unveiled the first electric double-decker bus in Mumbai, in September 2022, generating a lot of excitement on social media.
‘Switch’-ing up the streets
This is not the only order for electric buses that Switch has secured. The company has emerged as the highest (L1) bidder in 3 of the 8 electric bus contracts, floated by the Government of India-owned Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL).
Last month BusinessLine reported that under the CESL order, Switch Mobility is expected to supply 2,100 electric buses for 3 states – Delhi, Telangana, and Kerala — under the gross cost contract (GCC) model or operational expenditure (OPEX) model, in which the bidder will be responsible for operation and maintenance of electric buses, including engaging all manpower, personnel, drivers, labour, etc for 12 years.
There are already more than 500 Switch Mobility electric buses on the roads. Its current order book is for the supply of 2,500 electric buses, including the CESL order.