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Mumbai all set for its first all-electric double-decker Bus


Union Minister for transport Nitin Gadkari (in blue kurta) on August 18, flagged off the electric double-decker bus, which costs around Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2 crore. The BEST has procured the same on a lease, with Switch Mobility responsible for maintenance and providing driver. BEST will handle the operations, ticketing and provide the conductor.

Mumbai's Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) received its first all-electric double-decker AC bus from Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle division of Hinduja Group's flagship Ashok Leyland, this week. The BEST has decided to get 900 double-decker buses, which will are being procured on a mix of wet lease and dry lease—the maintenance and drivers will be provided by the manufacturer and the conductor and ticketing part will remain with BEST.

The BEST will pay Rs 56 a km for the lease and for now, the lease period is around 12 years. According to BEST, the new air-conditioned double-decker bus can handle a maximum of 100 passengers, of which 66 passengers can sit. Unlike the existing fleet, the double-decker bus will have staircases to go up on the two sides—the front and rear. The move is part of the push for cleaner, alternative fuels to check carbon emissions and improve the quality of air. 

The bus can run around 250 km after charging. The charging time is 1.5 hours to 3 hours. The seats are equipped with recliner function, reading lights, USB Ports, and Wi-fi. The double-decker buses are expected to be rolled out on roads in September 2022.

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