In the UK, the electric drive specialist Equipmake has presented its latest purely electric bus technology, with a zero-emission version of the New Routemaster double-decker bus. Equipmake has converted the New Routemaster with electric drive systems.
This process involves completely replacing the buses’ hybrid drivetrain with Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) featuring a 400kWh battery enabling an expected in-service range of 150 miles (about 241 kilometres).
Ian Foley, CEO of Equipmake, said: “Repowering is a vital, cost-effective transitionary technology that can bridge the gap between diesel and a new electric bus fleet. We are delighted to showcase our latest repower system in the shape of a zero-emission version of the iconic New Routemaster double-decker bus here today at Euro Bus Expo.”
Equipmake says that pre-service trials already started in London, operated by Metroline public transport services, whereby the electric version of the New Routemaster will continue to be assessed over the next six months. Equipmake says it will be trialling additional converted buses with other bus operators across the UK in the coming months.
Adrian Jones, Engineering Director, Metroline, said: “Metroline is delighted to trial this innovative fully-electric New Routemaster bus in London. Repowering technology has huge potential in enabling operators to accelerate the transition of fleets to zero emissions and we look forward to further evaluating this test vehicle over the coming six months.”
Equipmake says that the ZED that features in the New Routemaster can be applied to any existing hybrid or diesel bus. After an inspection of each bus to ensure its adaptability to the company’s modular electric chassis, the retrofitting company says the process itself is quick, with up to five repowers a week being able to be completed. This means that public transport providers can ensure that buses are off the road for as little time as possible.
Just last month we reported that First Bus is partnering with conversion company Equipmake to retrofit 12 of the operators existing diesel buses with electric drives. The buses are to be converted and operated in the York region.
This year, the retrofit company unveiled its Ampere-220 electric axle drive. Designed for manufacturers of high-performance electric vehicles, it combines either one or two 220-kW motors with all power electronics, including silicon carbide inverters and gearboxes, in a single unit. The company also launched a next-gen silicon carbide inverter, which can deliver a step-change in the performance of electric vehicles.