Equipmake has revealed its Jewel E battery-electric double-decker bus. The model will be produced in partnership with Spanish coachbuilder Beulas and it will offer a maximum of 543kW/h of onboard energy storage.
That is the largest energy capacity of any two-axle battery-electric double-decker. It will deliver what Equipmake claims is a 250-mile range. The first vehicles are expected to begin in-service trials in Q1 2022, with Equipmake adding that the DC-charged Jewel E is “cost effective and highly efficient.”
The Norfolk company first revealed its plans for the UK bus market in 2019. At the heart of the Jewel E is Equipmake’s modular and scalable Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED). It has been designed and developed in-house and is already in use in Argentine capital Buenos Aires through Equipmake’s partnership with Brazilian manufacturer Agrale.
The ZED uses Equipmake’s HTM 3500 motor, which is fitted directly to the prop shaft and combines high torque with low motor speeds. It delivers up to 400kW and 3,500Nm of torque, and is driven by a Semikron SKAI inverter. Energy is stored in a variety of lithium-ion battery packs that provide up to the headline 543kW/h capacity.
Equipmake adds that energy efficiency is aided by “one of the most efficient thermal management systems on the market.” It uses a water-glycol cooling circuit to keep the batteries, inverter and motor at optimum operating temperature while utilising thermal energy to heat the interior of the bus when required.
Testing of the model will begin in Q4 2021 ahead of manufacture of production examples commencing in 2022.
Says Equipmake Managing Director Ian Foley: “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 Jewel E.”
Equipmake sees scope for the Jewel E both domestically and internationally. Its production will bring new jobs to Norfolk.
Adds Beulas MD Dolors Beulas: “We are delighted to be working with Equipmake on this innovative project. Its ZED is state of the art, offering exceptional efficiency, yet it is cost-effective, too.
“Beulas is a leader in passenger transportation in Europe. 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.”