BEST buses, the iconic double-deckers that dominate Mumbai’s streets, are reviving with an electric power source. There used to be over 800 double-decker BEST buses in India’s financial capital, but only 48 are left in 2021.
After undergoing an ‘electrifying’ makeover, the double-decker may return to the city. A subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, the maker of BEST double-deckers, is producing the new EVs through its subsidiary Switch Mobility.
Mumbai was the first city in the country to unveil the Switch EV 22 bus this week. It is expected that Mumbai will receive 200 such buses by June next year after receiving the first one in March. These buses will seat 90 passengers and cost about Rs 2 crore each.
According to the company, the bus can run 250 kilometers on a single charge, which makes it ideal for commuting within cities. With a double staircase at the front and the back, the new e-buses will offer greater fire safety and accessibility than vintage buses.
According to reports, the buses will be owned by OHM, another Ashok Leyland subsidiary, which will also run operations, charge the vehicles, and perform maintenance. Through its dealer partners, the switch will examine the annual maintenance contract (AMC).