Wrightbus has chosen Forsee Power‘s ZEN PLUS battery systems to convert more than 1,000 diesel buses into electric ones over the next 3 years, the battery supplier says, within the newly-launched NewPower enterprise.

Wrightbus has made repower a strategic development axis and established into a hi-tech factory in Bicester, Oxfordshire, for this new activity, under NewPower brand. Forsee Power claims to be “the first non-Chinese battery manufacturer on the bus market globally“, having equipped over 3,000 electric buses and working with a dozen of bus OEMs worldwide.

Wrightbus uses Forsee Power batteries for retrofit

Forsee Power ZEN PLUS battery systems chosen by Wrightbus (who is already customer of the French battery supplier) to repower buses are available in 5 versions from 74 to 84 kWh. ZEN PLUS delivers an energy density of 180 Wh/kg allowing a 5,000-cycle life, says Forsee Power.

In addition to R100 Rev.3, ZEN PLUS complies with the most stringent industry standards, including ISO 26262 / ASIL C, ISO 12405, IEC 62660, IEC 6066 as well as R10.6. Eco-designed, ZEN PLUS can be used in second life applications and is optimized for recycling.

We have been visiting Forsee Power in February. The company specializes in battery packs for both first-life and second-life applications, and had experienced a 54% growth in revenue from 2022 to 2023 (up to €171.4 million), and +40% in Q1 2024. Forsee’s preferred (but not only) cell supplier partners are LGCALB, and Toshiba. Looking forward, Forsee Power aims to achieve equilibrium in EBITDA by 2024, with a projected 15% positive EBITDA by 2028. Plans for expansion include scaling up production in Poitiers (today installed capacity of 2 GWh) to 4 GWh by 2028, alongside developments in the company’s other facilities in Poland, China, India, and the USA.

Forsee Power and repowering

“We are proud to pursue our collaboration with Wrightbus on retrofit. From the first-ever opportunity charging solutions in Milton Keynes that we launched together in 2013, we have been partnering with Wrightbus for zero emission transport with innovative solutions for their single and double decker buses, optimizing passenger capacity. We value our long-term partnership and look forward to repowering thousands of vehicles in the coming years”, explains Christophe Gurtner, Chairman and CEO of Forsee Power. In an interview with Sustainable Bus he told us: “The difficulty of retrofit is not at a battery level. The difficult part is having mature retrofit companies who develop know-how on retrofit. Most of the players are startups. (…) We need to work together with such companies and help them grow to become mature enough so that we can sell them our retrofit batteries.

“We have long been recognized as a world-leading manufacturer of both hydrogen and battery-electric buses and now NewPower will add another string to our bow. We are the number one zero-emissions bus maker in the UK. A year ago, we had 200 zero emission buses on the road. Today, we have over 900 and in the next year we will get to 2,000.” said Wrightbus CEO Jean-Marc Gales.


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