Equipmake demonstrates ‘repowered’ electric New Routemaster bus

Equipmake is showcasing a zero-emission version of the New Routemaster double-decker bus that has been ‘repowered’ with the Norfolk company’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED).


Unveiled on Equipmake’s stand at the Euro Bus Expo this week (November 1-3, 2022), the repowered New Routemaster has had its hybrid drivetrain completely replaced by ZED.

Bus operator Metroline is conducting pre-service trials of an all-electric New Routemaster in London where it will be assessed over the next six months. The programme will deliver test data to Transport for London (TfL), which is evaluating a range of clean technologies, including repower systems. Charging infrastructure at Metroline’s Holloway depot, alongside battery data analytics for the bus, is being provided by Zenobē, the EV fleet and battery storage specialist.

The repowered New Routemaster features a 400kWh battery enabling an expected in-service range of 150 miles. Over the coming months, Equipmake will be trialling additional repowered buses with other bus operators across the UK.

In a statement, Ian Foley, CEO of Equipmake, said: “Repowering is a vital, cost-effective transitionary technology that can bridge the gap between diesel and a new electric bus fleet. London is leading the way in the adoption of green technologies for large commercial vehicles and as TfL continues to evaluate a range of clean technologies, we are confident our repower systems can play a rapid role in accelerating any zero-emission vehicle strategy.”

ZED can be applied to any existing hybrid or diesel bus and features Equipmake’s patented thermal management system, which maintains the battery pack, motor, and inverter at an optimum operating temperature to maximise vehicle range.

Featuring an advanced water-glycol cooling circuit, the system can also provide interior heating 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 with a CSS DC charging point.

The New Routemaster also features Equipmake’s HTM 3500 electric motor which is integrated into the prop shaft without the need for a separate transmission. According to Equipmake, the motor is engineered to meet the needs of a fully-laden double-decker bus by producing 3,500Nm torque at a motor speed of 1,000rpm and delivering 400kW maximum power.

Earlier this year, Equipmake was awarded a contract by First Bus to fully convert 12 Optare Versa buses from existing EV Generation One systems to Equipmake’s ZED.

Conversion work has been carried out on the first Versa bus at Equipmake’s Snetterton headquarters, with the first of the 12 buses expected to be back in operation on York’s roads this month.