Electric powertrain manufacturer Equipmake and Spanish bus builder Beulas launch Jewel E EV bus22 September 2021

The bus features a British-built electric powertrain designed and developed at Equipmake’s purpose-built facility in Norfolk, with the body produced by Beulas in Girona, Spain. Testing of Jewel E begins in the October-December 2021 period, with the first vehicles expected to start in-service trials after January 2022.

Under the skin lies Equipmake’s advanced propulsion technology – Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) – which is modular and scale-able, capable of supporting different bus sizes. ZED is already being used in single decker form on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina as part of an Equipmake partnership with Agrale.

Packaged according to specific applications to optimise space for battery/kWh, ZED now underpins Jewel E – the next step in Equipmake’s strategic plan to grow its line-up of advanced electric powertrains and vehicles. Integrated into the Jewel E chassis ZED is the company’s HTM 3500 motor, which combines high torque with low motor speeds, and is fitted directly on to the propshaft, negating the need for a separate gearbox.

It produces maximum torque of 3,500Nm at 1,000rpm and offers maximum power of 400kW, it is driven by a Semikron SKAI inverter with energy stored in a variety of customer-specified lithium-ion battery pack options of up to 543kWh, said to be the largest battery of any single-axle double decker electric bus in the world, giving a maximum range of up to 250 miles.

A water-glycol cooling circuit, augmented by the capture of thermal energy to heat the interior in cold conditions, keeps the motor, inverter and battery at optimum operating temperature. When the battery is depleted it can be simply recharged at the depot overnight using a CSS DC charging point.

Equipmake says that Jewel E is the first EV bus to meet the latest Transport for London (TfL) bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024, including enhanced safety features to give the public, drivers and passengers piece of mind. It is suitable for operation in both London and the surrounding UK provinces.

Equipmake provides EV technology to automotive OEMs and specialist supercar makers, producing everything from industry-leading high-performance electric motors to inverters and power electronic systems, all the way up to complete EV drivetrains, while also operating across marine, off-highway, emergency vehicles and aerospace.

Its purpose-built R&D facility, located next to the Snetterton motor racing circuit, allows Equipmake to deliver the complete electric mobility solution – whatever the sector – offering the capability to design, test and manufacture everything from motors to fully electrified platforms. It also sources and supplies lithium-ion batteries, creating entire electric drivetrains for an increasingly international customer base.

Transport Engineer

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