Switch unveils India’s first electric double-decker

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Switch Mobility has unveiled its new electric double-decker, air-conditioned bus, the EiV 22. Designed, developed and manufactured in India specifically for the Indian market, Switch says its new EiV 22 is equipped with the latest technology, ultra-modern design, highest safety and best-in-class comfort features, utilising the firm’s global electric bus experience. The ‘iconic’ double-decker is designed to revolutionise public transportation in the country and will set new standards in the intra-city bus market, the company said.

The manufacturer says its EiV 22 is a significant achievement in terms of packaging, making it the world’s first standard-floor, air-conditioned, electric double-decker, with a wider door on the rear overhang and a rear staircase. The bus has a lightweight, rollover-compliant body and is said to be easy to manoeuvre even in tight spaces and congested traffic conditions.

Switch Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said: “It’s an extremely proud moment for us as we bring back the iconic double-decker to India. Ashok Leyland was a pioneer among Indian manufacturers when it first launched the double-decker in 1967 in Mumbai and Switch is carrying forward that legacy. With our strong expertise in double-deckers, both in India and the UK and with over 100 Switch electric double-deckers in service on UK roads, we are happy to bring back this icon to life and look forward to introducing newer electric products for the Indian and European markets, always keeping the customers at the forefront.”

Andy Palmer, Switch’s Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, added: “As a carbon neutral mobility company, Switch is focused on delivering innovative solutions to help authorities and operators decarbonise their public transport systems. The Switch EiV 22 is our latest innovation and builds on our expertise in the electric double-decker segment to deliver a product with class leading efficiency for the Indian market. With our Switch EiV 22 and Metrodecker buses, we are now well positioned to address the global double-decker market and support cities in meeting their net zero targets.”

Talking about the brand’s entry into the EV double-decker space for the Indian market, Mahesh Babu, CEO of Switch Mobility India, said, “We are pleased to unveil the EiV 22, India’s first and unique electric double-decker. We have strived to meet multiple challenges to fulfil new age customer requirements, while retaining the iconic double-decker lineage. The EiV 22 is designed and developed to meet Indian conditions, while at the same time provide superior customer comfort and delight. Mumbai and double-deckers are synonymous with public transport, and we are certain that EiV 22 will not only bring back fond memories for Mumbaikars, but will transform the public transport space in terms of sustainability and footprint which is the need of the hour in India.”

The Switch electric double-decker can carry nearly twice the number of seated passengers as a comparable single-decker bus with just 18% increase in kerb weight, said the company. It uses a 650V system, on the same platform as Switch EiV 12 launched in June this year, which has much in common with the electrical systems of the European market Switch e1.

The manufacturer said that with its contemporary styling and ‘feel-good’ interiors and exteriors, the double-decker boasts wide front and rear doors, two staircases and an emergency door complying with the latest applicable safety standards. Air-conditioning offers cooling in India’s hot climatic conditions, while the optimised seating for 65 passengers is the maximum number of seats that can be offered in the given footprint, the firm said, adding that each seat has a lightweight cushion and the interiors come with ‘car like comfort’ for passenger convenience. The new bus is powered by a 231kWh capacity liquid cooled, higher density NMC battery pack with dual charging system, and has a claimed range of up to 250km. The components are manufactured locally in India.

Switch India said it has already secured an order of 200 electric double-decker buses for Mumbai.

Switch’s latest electric product for the Indian market is the EiV 22 twin door, twin staircase double-decker. SWITCH