Equipmake, the UK-based commercial vehicle electrification specialist, and Spanish coachbuilder Beulas, are joining forces with Go-Ahead, London’s largest bus operator, to start in-service trials of the new Jewel E double decker electric bus on the capital’s streets in Q1 2022. The Jewel E is powered by Equipmake’s breakthrough Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED), which transforms zero emission bus operating capabilities.
Designed and developed in the UK, Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) offers operators three modular battery pack options of up to 543kWh – the largest capacity battery of any two-axle double decker electric bus in the world. This delivers an unmatched electric driving range of up to 300 miles, which is more than sufficient to ensure the Jewel E can easily complete an entire duty cycle without the need to stop and recharge. Equipmake’s modular design gives operators the flexibility to scale the amount of battery throughout the life of a bus future-proofing it for a range of routes and distances.
The Jewel E is set to be manufactured in 2022 at an all-new facility in Norfolk. The vehicle body is produced by Beulas in Girona, Spain, a company with more than 87 years of experience in the sector. The vehicle chassis has been specifically designed for the Equipmake Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) by Agrale in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a leading truck and bus chassis manufacturer established in 1962.
The initiative will bring new jobs to the Norfolk area and will also play a key role in helping UK Government achieve its target of introducing at least 4,000 more British-built zero emission buses into the UK market by 2024 through its Bus Back Better national strategy. The Jewel E will also help meet exceptional exponential demand, as the global electric bus market is expected to accelerate from 300,000 vehicles per annum to one million by 2030.
Global urban zero-emission mobility solution
The Jewel E delivers cost-effective and incredibly efficient state-of-the-art battery electric transportation. Its advanced technology will help reduce local emissions in urban environments, improve air quality and cut running costs for operators in every town and city across the globe – from Athens to Zagreb. Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) is soon to be trialed in single decker form on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Now, Equipmake’s technology and the Jewel E are set to be proven with in-service trials in one of the most demanding bus driving environments in the world, London, where buses cover around 300 million miles a year. The Jewel E is one of the first EV bus to meet the latest Transport for London (TfL) bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024, including enhanced safety features to give the public, drivers and passengers peace of mind. Equipmake’s development team has worked closely with Go-Ahead London’s Engineering Director, Richard Harrington, and his team of experts to meet the TfL’s 2024 specifications. The Jewel E is suitable for operation not only in the UK capital but also in the surrounding provinces.
Equipmake has collaborated with a range of suppliers to integrate the most advanced technologies, guaranteeing the Jewel E’s ability to meet even the most stringent requirements. Companies including Sure24, Forman, 21st Century, and McKenna have supplied systems such as cameras, intercoms, induction loops, and destination displays.
Flexible solutions to meet wide range of customer needs
Equipmake’s fully modular and scale-able ZED has been designed from the outset to support different customer requirements and bus sizes. The technology underpins the next step in Equipmake’s strategic plan to grow its lineup of advanced electric powertrains and vehicles.
Featuring a modular lithium-ion battery design, customers can choose from three options: 325kWh, 434kWh and 543kWh. The latter is the most powerful battery solution of any two-axle double decker electric bus in the world. It delivers a maximum range of up to 300 miles, ensuring more than sufficient daily operating mileage.
Another key component of the Jewel E ZED chassis is Equipmake’s HTM 3500 electric motor. Seamlessly integrated into the prop shaft without the need for a separate transmission, the motor is precisely engineered to meet the demanding requirements of a fully laden double decker bus by producing an exceptional 3,500 Nm torque at an effortlessly low motor speed of just 1,000rpm and delivering 400kW maximum power. A Semikron SKAI inverter converts DC charge from the battery to AC charge to drive the HTM 3500 electric motor.
Equipmake’s patented ultra-efficient thermal management system maintains all three of the ZED’s key components, the battery pack, motor and inverter, at an optimum operating temperature. Featuring an advanced water-glycol cooling circuit, the system also provides the benefit of heating the interior during cold conditions with captured thermal energy. When the battery is depleted at the end of a complete duty cycle, it can be recharged at the depot overnight via a CSS DC charging point.
Ian Foley, Managing Director, Equipmake, said: “Our Jewel E double decker bus integrates the latest electric powertrain technologies to result in a highly efficient and cost-effective, purpose-built commercial vehicle, one of the first that meets the increasingly strict Transport for London requirements for buses operating across the capital.
“I am delighted to announce our partnership with Go-Ahead. In-service trials with London’s largest bus operator will allow us to continue the vehicle’s development during real-world usage cycles on public roads, a vital next step in perfecting the double decker electric bus before it enters full service.”
Richard Harrington, Engineering Director, Go-Ahead London, said: “At Go-Ahead London, we believe passionately that converting our fleet from internal combustion power to electric energy will deliver a long-term solution to cut emissions and help provide a clean air environment. To date, we have already saved 700 tonnes of CO2 with our existing electric fleet and opened Europe’s first all-electric bus garage, so we have the necessary infrastructure already in place to seamlessly integrate the Jewel E test-programme into our services.
“What makes the Jewel E even more exciting is that it is one of the first EV bus to meet the new Transport for London (TfL) bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024, which is a key advantage for our passengers and drivers and the public.”