BEST Rolls Out India’s First AC Double Decker Electric Bus, Commercial Services To Begin Soon


The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) on Monday inaugurated the country’s first electric air-conditioned (AC) double-decker bus.

However, it may take two to three days for the new vehicle to commence commercial operations as the regional transport agency in Mumbai is yet to finish the registration process for the electric bus.

The electric double-decker bus with a seating capacity of 73 will ply between Kurla bus depot and Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

The BEST undertaking provides bus transport within Brihanmumbai limits and also in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mira-Bhayander areas. On an average 2.9 million passengers are travelling daily on 505 bus routes with the help of 3,800 buses.

Switch Mobility

The bus, Switch EiV 22, has been manufactured by Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle making subsidiary of bus specialist Ashok Leyland.

Designed, developed and manufactured in India and utilising Switch’s global electric bus experience, Switch EiV 22 is world’s first semi-low floor, air conditioned, electric double decker with wider door on rear overhang and a rear staircase and is priced at around Rs 2 crore.

The first prototype of the electric bus was launched by Union minister Nitin Gadkari in Mumbai in August 2022.

The company is in a contract with BEST for the supply of 200 such buses in phases. Of these, 50 per cent of buses are expected to be delivered by March 2023 and the remaining 50 per cent thereafter.

OHM Global Mobility, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, will own the buses, run the operations and do the charging, maintenance of the vehicle. Switch will look at the annual maintenance contract (AMC) through its dealer partners.

The launch of iconic double decker is a momentous occasion as Ashok Leyland was the first company to deliver double decker buses to BEST in 1967.

Mumbai and double decker buses have been synonymous with public transport, and naturally, the new bus service will not only bring back fond memories for Mumbaikars, but will transform the public transport space in terms of sustainability and comfort.