06/10/2021 – Automotive / EV / Bus / Electric / Equipmake / Beulas / Jewel E / Double-Decker
Double-decker EV bus from Equipmake and Beulas sets new global standards for range and efficiency
Leading commercial vehicle electrification specialist Equipmake has launched a state-of-the-art electric bus, Jewel E, in partnership with Spanish coachbuilder Beulas. The new EV bus boasts up to 250 miles of range – the longest of any electric double-decker in the world.
Featuring a cutting-edge British-built electric powertrain designed and developed at Equipmake’s purpose-built facility in Norfolk, UK, with the body produced by Beulas in Girona, Spain, Jewel E is a cost-effective and highly efficient electric double decker bus that will help to reduce local emissions in urban environments, improve air quality and reduce running costs for operators in cities across the world.
It will also help meet enormous and ever-increasing demand, given that the global electric bus market is expected to accelerate from 300,000 vehicles per annum to one million by 2030, according to a report by consultancy Arthur D. Little.
Set to be manufactured in 2022 at an all-new facility in Snetterton, Norfolk, Jewel E will not only bring new jobs to the area but will 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.
Under the skin lies Equipmake’s advanced propulsion technology – Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED). Modular and scale-able, ZED is capable of supporting different bus sizes. It is already being used in single decker form on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of an Equipmake partnership with Agrale.
Packaged according to specific applications to optimise space for battery/kWh, ZED now underpins Jewel E – the next step in Equipmake’s strategic plan to grow its line-up of advanced electric powertrains and vehicles.
Integrated into the Jewel E chassis, ZED is the company’s HTM 3500 motor, which combines high torque with low motor speeds, and is fitted directly onto the propshaft negating the need for a separate gearbox.
Producing maximum torque of 3,500Nm at just 1,000rpm and offering maximum power of 400kW, it is driven by a Semikron SKAI inverter with energy stored in a variety of customer-specified lithium-ion battery pack options of up to 543kWh – the largest battery of any single axle double decker electric bus in the world, giving a maximum range of up to 250 miles, and enabling more than enough daily operating mileage.
Jewel E efficiency is made possible by one of the most efficient thermal management systems on the market, which keeps the motor, inverter and battery at optimum operating temperature, featuring a water-glycol cooling circuit augmented by the capture of thermal energy to heat the interior in cold conditions. When the battery is depleted it can be simply recharged at the depot overnight using a CSS DC charging point.
First EV bus to meet TfL 2024 bus safety standard requirements
In London alone, buses on the capital city’s streets cover over 475 million kilometres a year, keeping people mobile and connected, and forming an integral part of the transport network. Specifically developed for demanding daily usage cycles, Jewel E is 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 piece of mind. It is suitable for operation in both London and the surrounding UK provinces.
Equipmake has worked with Spanish coachbuilder Beulas, which has manufactured the Jewel E double decker body. Testing of Jewel E begins in Q4 2021 with in-service trials expected to take place in Q1 2022. Manufacture and sales of Jewel E will begin in 2022.
A cutting-edge, cost-effective solution to urban air pollution
“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,” asserted Ian Foley, MD of Equipmake, whose response to such considerations is the innovative new EV double-decker Jewel E.
“Featuring our cutting-edge ZED powertrain, it has up to 250 miles electric range, yet is cost-effective too. Set to be built at an all-new manufacturing facility near to our home in Snetterton, Norfolk, it will bring new jobs to the local area and has the potential to play a crucial role in supporting the Government’s commitment to introduce 4,000 EV buses in the coming three years. What’s more it’s also the first EV bus to meet TfL’s tough 2024 regulations too. And with demand increasing globally for electric buses, we believe it provides the right solution both nationally and internationally.”
Dolors Beulas, Managing Director of Beulas, added: “We are delighted to be working with Equipmake on this innovative project. Its Zero Emission Drivetrain is state-of-the-art, offering exceptional efficiency yet is cost-effective too.
“Beulas is a leader in passenger transportation in Europe, and 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.”
Delivering the complete electric mobility solution
Equipmake provides EV technology to automotive OEMs and specialist supercar makers, producing everything from industry-leading high-performance electric motors to inverters and power electronic systems, all the way up to complete EV drivetrains, while also operating across marine, off-highway, emergency vehicles and aerospace.
Its purpose-built R&D facility, located next to the Snetterton motor racing circuit, allows Equipmake to deliver the complete electric mobility solution – whatever the sector – offering the capability to design, test and manufacture everything from motors to fully electrified platforms. It also sources and supplies the most advanced lithium-ion batteries, creating entire electric drivetrains for an increasingly international customer base.