Equipmake has agreed a partnership with coach company Westway Coaches to accelerate the repowering of its fleet. The London-based coach company is the only operator to run fully electric coaches in UK.
The agreement will see Equipmake further accelerate the electrification of Westway Coaches’ fleet by converting a proportion of its existing diesel coaches to electric power with its state-of-the-art drivetrain technology.
The conversion of the first vehicle, a Van Hool T917, has begun at its headquarters in Snetterton, Norfolk, and in-service prototype testing is set to begin in Q3 with the objective that further Westway vehicles are repowered over the coming months, Equipmake says.
Equipmake has developed dedicated skills on repowering of buses, most recently completing an all-electric repower of the New Routemaster (showcased at Euro Bus Expo 2022), as well as partnering with First Bus to upgrade its fleet.
Equipmake repowers coaches for Westway Coaches
“Featuring a 545 kWh battery pack, alongside an electric motor, inverter and efficiency-maximising HVAC system, all developed in-house, Equipmake’s super-efficient, state-of-the-art Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) is expected to give the repowered Van Hool T917 a range of up to 220 miles, making long distances entirely possible”, Equimpake states.
Repowering is quick too. Once a first vehicle has been developed, further retrofits can be completed over the course of a few days. It costs less than half the price of a new electric coach.
Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, said:“We are delighted to expand our repower offering to the coach market with the agreement of our first coach partnership with Westway Coaches. Westway is already a sustainability innovator in the sector and Equipmake will be accelerating its transition to zero emissions, with the first vehicle already converted and more set to be upgraded in the coming months.
“Repowering is an important and cost-effective technology that bridges the gap between diesel and a new electric coach fleet. It upcycles a perfectly good vehicle in the most cost-effective way, making sense for any size of fleet, and solves 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.”
David West, Managing Director at Westway Coaches, said: “Operating a state-of-the-art fleet that is both sustainable and socially responsible is core to Westway Coaches. We are very happy to be partnering with Equipmake, a leader in the electrification space. Its innovative technology will play a vital role in supporting our goal of running a zero-emission fleet, operating coaches powered solely by electricity. On behalf of all at Westway, I am looking forward to seeing our first repowered coach begin in-service prototype testing in Q3 and building on that with further repowered vehicles very quickly.”