UK: Equipmake and Beulas unveil e-biplane

UK: Equipmake and Beulas unveil e-biplane

British electric drive specialist Equipmake and Spanish bus builder Beulas have unveiled a battery-electric double-decker bus that is said to have a range of up to 250 miles - the equivalent of around 400 kilometres - with a battery capacity of up to 543 kWh.

According to the partners, the Jewel E is set to hit the market next year. Before that, testing of the electric double-decker bus will begin in the fourth quarter of this year. The model will be built at a factory in Norfolk inaugurated by Equipmake at the end of 2019. The British e-motor company stresses that it falls within the criteria of a UK government programme unveiled in the spring, which aims to put 4,000 new UK-built battery and hydrogen buses on the roads by 2024 as part of a major restructuring of public bus services.

The Jewel E's powertrain is Equipmake's scalable Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED). The double-decker uses a motor with 400 kW and 3,500 Nm at 1,000 rpm, which is mounted directly on the propshaft without a separate gearbox. Equipmake states that the battery capacity is up to 543 kWh, depending on the number of battery packs. The manufacturer also mentions an efficient thermal management system including a water-glycol cooling circuit as a special feature. As far as charging technology is concerned, it is only stated that the bus is designed for overnight DC charging in the depot.

According to Equipmake, the ZED is already being used in single deckers on the streets of Buenos Aires, where the e-buses are the result of a partnership between the British company and manufacturer Agrale.

In the case of the Jewel E, Equipmake has partnered with Spanish coachbuilder Beulas. The company has yet to comment on the price of the double-decker, but assures that it will be "cost-effective". The model is apparently intended primarily for the domestic market. Equipmake says that it is suitable for operation in London as well as the surrounding UK provinces, but makes the extra point that the Jewel E already "meets the latest specifications and requirements of Transport for London's (TfL) 2024 bus safety standard".