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September 13 2017
By Mel Holley

Mel is the Editor at routeONE magazine. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Repower is coming of age as
clean air challenges mount

The continuing high up-front capital cost of all-new electric buses means that re-powering the existing fleet is a more cost-effective way of achieving air quality targets, says specialist Magtec.

The firm used its presence at last week’s Cenex low-carbon vehicle event at Millbrook, Bedfordshire, to show single and double-deckers that it has re-powered to full electric.

Magtec Commercial Manager Simon Buckley

With the repower using a traction motor connected to the existing prop shaft, and batteries replacing engine bay equipment, Magtec Commercial Manager Simon Buckley says that operators will get  “more bang for their buck” by using an existing asset.

This will, he argues, produce a better business case than retrofitting older diesels with expensive and complex Euro 6 SCR systems. Especially when viewed with the prospect of future grant aid likely to be targeted at the best overall result.

And with Magtec’s leasing deals on the batteries he adds: “You get a zero emission bus with no risk on the batteries.”

Magtec, which supplies Optare with its pure-electric drive package for new buses, has already fitted the equipment into a dozen of older buses on trial around the UK. A single overnight charge will deliver up to 200 miles range for a single- and 160 miles for a double-decker.

Better still, the vehicle’s seating capacity remains unchanged

A single-decker is to go on trial with Arriva in London, along with a double-decker to an undisclosed operator in the capital.

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