Tata Motors has filed a design patent in India for a double-decker electric bus. It is likely to compete with the Switch EiV22 (part of Ashok Leyland – a Hinduja Group company) – launched in Mumbai last year.

Reports suggest that Tata’s double-decker electric bus is based on a two-axle chassis and could be as much as nine metres in length. There are wide entry and exit doors at the front and rear, as well as large windows in leaked images.

India’s municipal market for electric buses has grown strongly in recent years, with manufacturers rolling out a variety of buses for different applications – including single deckers, double-deckers and multiple wheelbases. Higher passenger capacity double-deckers could be used on short- and middle-distance commuter routes in big urban connurbations.

Delhi has recently given the green light to investment of INR576.13bn (US$7bn) to improve green public transport infrastructure across the country. The investment will be used for a fleet of 10,000 electric buses in various cities.

The Tata electric double decker is thought to be targeting Mumbai’s bus market, in particular. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has acquired Switch EiV22 Electric Double Decker Buses for transportation services in Mumbai, but more contracts will become available with the authority in the future.

Tata Motors already offers 9-metre and 12-metre electric buses in its Indian line-up, available in the Ultra, Urban, and Starbus ranges of Tata Buses. These lineups are available in both AC and non-AC variants along with low floor options.

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