CELEB stars at LCV-Cenex
A highlight of the Cenex-LCV show at Millbrook proving ground was the Cost Effective Electric Bus (CELEB) display.
The vehicle is the result of an Innovate UK funded collaboration between Equipmake, Potenza Technology, Millbrook, DePe Gear and Semikron. Norfolk-based Equipmake has begun the final testing phase of the new electric bus powertrain. The electrification company’s electric bus chassis is bodied by Brazilian commercial vehicle maker, Agrale. The bus is based on Agrale’s MT17 12m single-deck model capable of carrying 70 passengers.
The EBus drivetrain uses two of Equipmake’s APM200 spoke motors, the latest-generation lithium-ion battery pack and an advanced power control system.
Final testing of the powertrain is expected to be completed before the end of the year with the first Agrale electric buses starting in-service trials in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires in the first quarter of 2020. The Brazilian company is scheduled to launch the electric bus first in Buenos Aires in 2021.
Equipmake’s EBus powertrain is completely modular and can be specified in a wide variety of lengths, as well as in single- or double-decker configuration. The £7.5m Advanced Propulsion Centre funded project has involved multiple partners led by Equipmake with grant funding designed to take the bus to production.
MD of Equipmake, Ian Foley, said four more EBuses are to be manufactured, with trials of them to be carried out in Milton Keynes.
A factor Equipmake is focusing on with this development is its cost-effectiveness, an issue viewed by the manufacturer as holding back even further roll out of electric buses.
At the EBus’ heart, is the drivetrain’s two APM200 motors with the company’s spoke-architecture electric motor. According to the business, this is believed to be the highest power/torque dense automotive electric motor in the world. These motors, which will also power the upcoming Ariel HIPERCAR, are mated to proven Semikron SKAI inverters, while battery technology is provided by the latest generation lithium-ion cells.
- See issue 1547, 13 September 2019 for our report on Cenex-LCV