Equipmake, is showcasing its state-of-the-art coach repower technology at ITT Hub, Farnborough, which can provide pure electric ranges up to 250 miles.
Entirely scalable and modular, Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED), can be applied to any coach from single to double-decker, with bespoke systems tailored to specific customer requirements.
This duty-cycle focused approach can realise repower solutions for all coach use cases, from shorter school routes to the majority of longer distance motorway journeys, accelerating the transition to zero emission travel. And, just as importantly, Equipmake’s conversion from ICE to fully electric maintains the passenger and luggage capabilities of the original coach too.
At ITT Hub, Equipmake will be showcasing its coach repower technology with a Van Hool T917 from the Westway Coach fleet, having recently agreed a partnership to accelerate the repowering of the leading operator’s fleet.
The conversion has seen the coach’s diesel engine replaced with an Equipmake ZED featuring a 545kWh battery pack, alongside an electric motor, inverter and efficiency-maximising HVAC system. All developed in-house by Equipmake at its headquarters in Snetterton, Norfolk, the ZED specified for the Westway Coaches application is expected to give the repowered Van Hool T917 a range of up to 220 miles.
In-service testing is set to begin in Q3 with the objective that further Westway vehicles are repowered over the coming months.
As well as offering no-compromise on electric range or passenger/luggage carrying capacity, repowering of a coach fleet is also fast. Once a first vehicle has been developed, further repower can be completed over the course of a few days – against a year or more for the delivery of new electric coach – keeping a vehicle out of service for as little time as possible.
Repowering is also cost-effective, coming in at less than half the price of a new electric coach. With most coaches in service for 25 years or more, operators can make significant savings by repowering a vehicle halfway through its usable life.
Switching to an electric powertrain has huge potential to reduce on-fleet running costs too, not just in terms of energy used but on servicing too, while Equipmake’s e-powertrain technology – which supports UK PLC with 76% British-built content – is ready today.
As infrastructure improves, electric coaches are natural candidates to take advantage of opportunity charging too. With vehicles often making a 30-minute stop in a motorway services, Equipmake sees 100kW fast-charging adding significant range in a short time, supplementing on-depot overnight charging where, adding further to the business case, an electric coach could present a Vehicle 2 Grid (V2G) opportunity too.
Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, said:“Repowering is an important and cost-effective technology that bridges the gap between diesel and a new electric coach fleet. We can apply our in-house developed Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) to any coach, and work with a fleet customer to specify a fully electric driving range from 100 miles all the way up to 250 miles, making long distances entirely possible.
“Factor in no compromises on passenger or luggage capacity and repowering upcycles a perfectly good vehicle in the most cost-effective way, making sense for any size of fleet, while also solving the conundrum faced by operators who may only be part-way through the lifecycle of a vehicle, enabling them to transition without resorting to the financial burden of a new electric coach.”