In an intent to replace all of Bengaluru’s diesel buses with EVs, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will add electric buses to its fleet in the upcoming months. It has already placed orders with many AC double-decker electric buses.
AC double-decker electric buses
The Silicon city of India will soon have electric AC double-decker buses. The first batch of such buses will be operational by March, while more buses will be functional by April and May, according to reports. These buses will be in service before elections commence in Karnataka, which are expected to be held in April.
The tender for the project was reportedly awarded to Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle arm of Ashok-Leyland. The first five electric AC double-deckers will be provided at a cost of Rs 10 crore. BMTC director (IT) AV Surya told the Times of India that the first such buses will likely operate on the Hebbal-Silk Board route, for the same cost as a Volvo Vayu Vajra bus operated by the BMTC. Adults ride the Vajra bus for a minimum price of Rs. 10. Now, a monthly membership costs Rs 1,800 while a daily Vajra pass is Rs 120.
Switch EiV 22 buses
Twenty-two of the Switch EiV 22 buses are already in service while the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has plans of buying 200 such buses. The buses reportedly have a range of 250 km and can fully charge in 80 minutes. A digital tap-in/tap-out ticketing system will also be available on the buses, according to reports. These buses will have wide doors, two staircases, and an emergency door, and it can also accommodate up to 65 passengers at a time.
“Switch EiV 22, India’s first electric AC double-decker bus, was recently rolled out. Mumbai’s BEST already placed orders for 200 electric double-deckers and the first set of 22 such buses is now operational there. In fact, there are no other qualified manufacturers in the AC double-decker e-bus segment so far. Our plan is to roll out the AC double-decker e-bus before the election model code of conduct kicks in,” a BMTC source told TOI.