Last updated on April 22nd, 2020 at 11:34 am
Equipmake develops a wide range of products and is renowned for innovating electric powertrains, namely in larger vehicles. The company recently announced its latest version of its electric bus platform – the EBus. The new floor chassis has been designed to cut CO2 emissions, be more cost-effective and efficient than they've ever been.
The double-decker EBus powertrain was unveiled at the world's largest bus and coach show, Busworld Europe. It follows on from Equipmake’s previous design, which was made for single deckers. The new design features two APM200 motors – the company's spoke-architecture electric motor. Each of them produces 220kW and 450Nm of torque, and are linked to a two-speed gearbox. Lithium-ion battery cells lie along the bus' floor.
Aside the motor and batteries, Equipmake has also innovated a drivetrain that's made to improve range and reduce capital cost. With the appropriate heating and cooling in-place, the EBus will last a day without needing to recharge. However, Equipmake fails to quote the powertrain's range or the improvements that have been made over older variants.
The company also mention a reduction of expenditure to operators. Thanks to its bettered efficiency, a vehicle running on the EBus platform could theoretically have smaller battery packs, which ultimately brings down the overall cost. In a statement made by the company it claims “that within 8-10 years, its EBus platform will be cheaper to run than a conventional diesel version.”
As for charging, the EBus platform accepts a standard three-phase supply that can charge the vehicle in around five hours. It's also fast-charging enabled, which means depending on the battery packs used can charge in a much faster time. Better still, it also has an onboard charger that regenerates electricity.
Ian Foley, Managing Director of Equipmake, said: “Electric buses are one of the most effective ways to reduce urban pollution, but until now they have been prohibitively expensive. Equipmake’s EBus platform changes that. It is a cost-effective, highly efficient and completely-integrated chassis that allows any coachbuilder to become an electric bus manufacturer – regardless of how much EV knowledge they have.
The global market is around 300,000 vehicles per annum.
There is a significant demand for clean, affordable electric buses – the global market is around 300,000 vehicles per annum – and that is only growing. Manufacture of Equipmake’s EBus powertrains will scale dramatically over the next few years, so much so that we will be moving to a new bespoke facility next month. We expect to build 700 single decker EBus drivetrains for Agrale in the first year of production but we are already seeing major demand from markets all over the world, making our new factory crucial to fulfilling requirements for both single and double decker applications.”
The company has entered the final testing phase for its single-decker EBus platform and is looking to keep up the momentum by introducing a double-decker variant. Trails of the latter will begin later this year.
Thanks to a partnership with Agrale, one of the biggest chassis man ufactueres in Argentina, Equipmake will be launching its electric bus in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2021. According to Ian Foley, Agrale has 16,000 city busses that are replaced at a rate of 1,000 a year. Both companies are looking to replace some of these in the near future with all-electric buses.
In the UK, Equipmake has received funding from Innovate UK after the company spent £2.5M in development costs. Testing of the new double-decker EBus drivetrain is expected at the beginning of December this year, while production models are tipped for 2020-2021.