The electrification specialist unveiled the New Routemaster at the Euro Bus Expo this week. Developed in Norfolk, its hybrid drivetrain has been replaced with Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED), which uses 95% British-built components.
Operated by Metroline, pre-service trials have already started in London and will continue over the next six months. The program will deliver test data as Transport for London (TfL) continues to evaluate a range of clean technologies for future use. Charging infrastructure at Metroline’s Holloway depot, alongside battery data analytics for the bus, is being provided by Zenobē, the EV fleet and battery storage specialist.
“London is leading the way in the adoption of green technologies for large commercial vehicles and as TfL continues to evaluate a range of clean technologies, we are confident our repower systems can play a rapid role in accelerating any zero-emission vehicle strategy,” said Ian Foley, CEO of Equipmake.
The New Routemaster was developed with part funding from the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre. It features a 400kWh battery with expected in-service range of 150 miles. The ZED which features in the New Routemaster can be applied to any existing hybrid or diesel bus. Each conversion costs less than half the price of a new electric bus.
“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,” said Foley.
The drivetrain boasts an ultra-efficient thermal management system which maintain the battery pack, motor, and inverter at an optimum operating temperature. Featuring an advanced water-glycol cooling circuit, the system provides interior heating during cold conditions with captured thermal energy. When the battery is depleted at the end of a complete duty cycle, it can be recharged at the depot overnight via a CSS DC charging point. The HTM 3500 electric motor is integrated into the prop shaft without the need for a separate transmission. It can produce 3,500Nm torque at a motor speed of just 1,000rpm and delivering 400kW maximum power.
“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,” said Adrian Jones, Engineering Director, Metroline.
Equipmake’s repower technology programme involves an inspection of each bus to ensure its adaptability to the company’s unique, scalable modular electric chassis. Once its suitability is verified, the process is quick enough to allow for up to five repowers per week. Each repower is tailored to specific operator requirements, with service routes simulated to ensure the correct battery power level is selected for optimum performance and efficiency, and guaranteed driving ranges of 150 to 250 miles achievable.
Earlier this year, Equipmake was awarded a contract by First Bus to fully convert 12 Optare Versa buses from existing EV Generation One systems to Equipmake’s ZED. Conversion work has been carried out on the first Versa bus at Equipmake’s Snetterton headquarters, with the first of the 12 buses expected to be back in operation on York’s roads this month.