New EV bus drivetrain enters final testing phase

UK-based electrification company, Equipmake, has entered the final phase of testing on an all-new electric drivetrain for buses.

Designed and developed in Norfolk, the company’s EBus chassis will power a new electric bus for Brazilian commercial vehicle maker, Agrale.

The EBus drivetrain features a number of innovations that not only improve vehicle range but reduce capital cost. By optimising the heating and cooling of the vehicle and maximising overall energy efficiency, the bus will have enough range for one day’s running without the need for charging. In this way, the vehicle is not reliant on infrastructure and can maintain flexibility of route.

To charge the vehicle, the operator simply needs access to a standard three-phase supply, which will fully charge the vehicle in around five hours. However, the powertrain also supports fast charging – and has an onboard charger. Equipmake’s EBus system is also modular, meaning 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.

Ian Foley, Managing Director of Equipmake, said, “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.

“Manufacture of Equipmake’s EBus powertrains is set to scale dramatically over the next few years, so much so that we will be moving to a new bespoke facility in Snetterton in the coming months. We expect to build 700 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 demand.”