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09. 06. 2019 13:06

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Equipmake: Bringing down the cost of electric buses

The development of a vertically-integrated electric bus drivetrain will provide a turnkey solution for bodybuilders to enable more widespread adoption of electric buses.

Norfolk-based Equipmake used this week’s Cenex exhibition to show its EBus drivetrain with two APM200 motors, mated with the proven Semikron SKAI inverters, in a prototype bus.

EBus drivetrain with two APM200 motors, mated with the proven Semikron SKAI inverters, in a prototype bus.

The £2.5m development is being supported by funding from Innovate UK, and saw the first prototype vehicles (pictured) testing in Q2 2019, with in service testing starting in 2020.

With a hole cut in the rear floor to show visitors the simple packaging, the next step is to show a low-floor version of the vehicle, suitable for use in the UK and Europe.

This will appear at this Autumn’s Busworld show in Brussels, and will be followed by three right-hand drive prototypes in 2021 for a UK operator, whose identity is currently being kept under wraps.

Costs will come down thanks to vertical integration meaning that there is only one profit element required - rather than being added to be individual suppliers - and an innovative drivetrain.

The £2.5m development is being supported by funding from Innovate UK

Equipmake adds that the battery technology is provided by the latest generation batteries from AESC, which provides the batteries for the most successful electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf.

The Equipmake EBus drivetrain features a number of novel innovations, aimed at improving energy efficiency, and therefore increasing vehicle range and reducing capital cost.

This includes integrated heating and cooling - a key challenge for power consumption of elelctric buses.

Headed by Managing Director Ian Foley, who has a long background in alternative propulsion, Equipmake’s HQ is conveniently located in the technology hotspot of Hethel, Norfolk, adjacent to the Lotus Cars factory and development centre.

Find out more: equipmake.co.uk

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