Equipmake’s EBus powertrain enters final testing06 September 2019

Equipmake has announced that its new electric bus powertrain is about to enter final testing with Agrale, a Brazil-based commercial vehicle maker.

Developed at its site in Hethel, Norfolk, Equipmake’s EBus drivetrain uses two APM200 spoke motors, a lithium-ion battery pack and an advanced control system.

The drivetrain features a number of innovations that not only improve vehicle range but reduce capital cost, says Equipmake. By optimising the heating and cooling of the vehicle and maximising overall energy efficiency, the bus can operate for a full day on one charge.

Charging takes around five hours with a standard three-phase supply. The powertrain also supports fast charging and has an onboard charger.

Equipmake’s EBus system is also modular, so it can be adapted to different bus lengths and vehicles, including a double-decker. The Agrale bus in testing is based on the MT17, a 12m single-deck model capable of carrying 70 passengers.

The in-service trial will begin early next year, with Agrale planning to launch its first electric bus in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2021.

“We are very excited to be reaching the final phase of EBus powertrain testing ahead of in-service trials in Buenos Aires early next year,” says Ian Foley, Equipmake’s managing director.

The drivetrain has performed exactly as expected so far but, as we complete our UK-based durability testing, our team of expert engineers will be making sure it continues to hit every target in order to fulfil its demanding application in Argentina.

“There is a significant global demand for clean, affordable electric buses. In Buenos Aires alone there are 16,000 buses in operation, which are replaced at a rate of 1,000 models every year, while the global market for electric buses is around 300,000 vehicles per annum – and that is only growing.”

The company is planning to move to a new factory in Snetterton soon so that it can ramp up production of the EBus drivetrain to meet demand. It expects to build 700 units for Agrale in the first year.

Laura Cork

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