Equipmake and Beulas announce new electric bus

Commercial vehicle electrification specialist, Equipmake, is launching its electric bus, Jewel E, in partnership with Spanish coachbuilder Beulas.

The bus has a range of up to 250 miles, according to Equipmake, which it claims is the longest of any electric double-decker in the world.

The powertrain is built in the UK by Equipmake at its purpose-built facility in Norfolk, with the body produced by Beulas in Girona, Spain. The vehicle is set to be manufactured in 2022 at an all-new facility in Norfolk.

Jewel E features Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) propulsion technology, which is modular and scalable, capable of supporting different bus sizes. ZED is already being used in single-decker form on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina as part of an Equipmake partnership with Agrale. Packaged according to specific applications to optimise space for battery/kWh, ZED now underpins Jewel E. Integrated into the new bus’ chassis ZED is the company’s HTM 3500 motor, which combines high torque with low motor speeds, and is fitted directly onto the propshaft negating the need for a separate gearbox. Producing maximum torque of 3,500Nm at 1,000rpm and offering maximum power of 400kW, it is driven by a Semikron SKAI inverter with energy stored in a variety of customer-specified lithium-ion battery pack options of up to 543kWh, which the company claims is the largest battery of any single-axle double-deck electric bus in the world.

Jewel E efficiency is made possible by what Equipmake describes as one of the most efficient thermal management systems on the market, which keeps the motor, inverter and battery at optimum operating temperature. It features a water-glycol cooling circuit augmented by the capture of thermal energy to heat the interior in cold conditions. When the battery is depleted it can be recharged at the depot overnight using a CSS DC charging point.

Jewel E is the first EV bus to meet the latest TfL bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024, including enhanced safety features to give the public, drivers and passengers peace of mind.

The bodywork is built by Beulas.

Testing of Jewel E begins in the fourth quarter of 2021 with in-service trials expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022. Manufacture and sales of Jewel E are expected to begin in 2022.

“Featuring our cutting-edge ZED powertrain, it has up to 250 miles electric range, yet is cost-effective too”  – Ian Foley, Managing Director, Equipmake

Ian Foley, Managing Director, Equipmake, said: “Improving urban air quality is a global problem. At the same time, operators want vehicles that are cost-effective and highly efficient, while Governments and local bodies need bus manufacturers to bring advanced technology to market quickly. Equipmake has taken all of this into account and the result is our innovative new EV double decker, Jewel E.

“Featuring our cutting-edge ZED powertrain, it has up to 250 miles electric range, yet is cost-effective too. Set to be built at an all-new manufacturing facility near to our home in Snetterton, Norfolk, it will bring new jobs to the local area and has the potential to play a crucial role in supporting the Government’s commitment to introduce 4,000 EV buses in the coming three years. What’s more it’s also the first EV bus to meet TfL’s tough 2024 regulations too. And with demand increasing globally for electric buses, we believe it provides the right solution both nationally and internationally.”

Dolors Beulas, Managing Director, Beulas, said: “We are delighted to be working with Equipmake on this innovative project. Its Zero Emission Drivetrain is state-of-the-art, offering exceptional efficiency yet is cost-effective too.

“Beulas is a leader in passenger transportation in Europe, and with Jewel E, we are further consolidating our position, launching a cutting edge zero-emission bus that has huge potential to improve urban air quality.”

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