EV double decker set for London trials

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London is set to host in-service trials of Jewel E, a fully electric double decker bus from Equipmake that takes to the capital’s streets in the early months of 2022.

EV double decker
(Credit: Equipmake)

Run in conjunction with Go Ahead – London’s largest bus operator – the trials will be the first to feature a vehicle that conforms to the latest Transport for London (TfL) bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024. The UK has a target of introducing 4,000 zero-emission buses to its roads by 2024, with global EV bus demand expected to grow to one million units per year by 2030.

Equipmake launches Jewel E EV double decker bus

Jewel E features a body produced by Spain’s Beulas and a chassis designed by Argentina’s Agrale but will be both powered and assembled by the UK’s Equipmake at a brand-new facility in its Norfolk home. The company’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) is at the heart of the vehicle, comprising battery, motor, inverter and thermal management system.

A modular lithium-ion battery design comes in three options: 325kWh, 434kWh and 543kWh. The latter has a claimed range of 300 miles and is said to be the most the most powerful battery solution of any two-axle EV double decker anywhere in the world, and easily enough to tackle a day’s duty in the UK’s capital. Batteries can be charged overnight at bus depots using a CSS DC charging point.

EV double decker
(Credit: Equipmake)

Equipmake’s HTM 3500 electric motor is integrated into the prop shaft of the Jewel E, with no need for a separate transmission. According to the firm, the motor delivers 3,500Nm torque at 1,000rpm and a maximum power output of 400kW. A Semikron SKAI inverter converts DC from the battery to AC to drive the HTM 3500.

A bespoke, patented thermal management system maintains the battery, motor and inverter at optimum operating temperature. The water-glycol cooling circuit system also provides interior heating during winter conditions using captured thermal energy.

“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,” said Ian Foley, managing director at Equipmake.

“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.”