Australian manufacturer Custom Denning has confirmed that it plans to bring its zero-emission Element single-deck bus to the UK. The first battery-electric demonstrator is likely to arrive in mid- to late-2022 and a hydrogen fuel cell-electric model will follow.
Custom Denning has already built six 12.5m battery-electric Australian specification Element prototypes (pictured). Production will start shortly and a prototype hydrogen fuel cell-electric model will be complete by August. The OEM is also developing the 10.2m and 11.8m platforms that Managing Director Scott Dunn says will form the UK offering. A maximum passenger capacity of around 80 is expected.
Battery chemistries for the UK are not yet finalised. In hot weather testing, with a simulated full load and with air-conditioning in use, the Element has delivered a range of over 500km with 378kW/h solid state batteries, he adds.
Minor design changes will be made to suit UK regulations. The Element will be available in one- and two-door format and it will be competitively priced, says Mr Dunn.
While early examples for the UK will be built in Australia, he anticipates establishing a plant in Europe “quickly.” Locally based support will be provided from the start.
Much of the Element’s componentry – including batteries, control equipment, steel framing and its ZF axles and steering – is already sourced from Europe.
Energy storage in the battery-electric model is on the roof and at the rear, but different chemistries should later permit batteries to be within the floor. Charging is via A standard CCS2 connector.
Mr Dunn purchased bodybuilder Custom in 2018 and chassis manufacturer Denning in 2019 to create Custom Denning. Complementary skills from each business have allowed the creation of the Element, which uses a development of an existing Denning chassis and an all-new body.