First York has put in operation 12 upgraded electric buses. The first generation e-buses Optare Versa singe-deck models have been updated by Equipmake, incorporating the company’s Zero-Emission Drivetrain (ZED) technology, which in this specification, features a 274 kWh capacity battery, providing a range of 150 miles in all UK weather conditions, according to the supplier.

Equipmake has been working since time in partnership with First York and has delivered a fleet of 12 upgraded electric buses with all vehicles now in full operation in the city.

The delivery “follows on from a successful trial of an initial converted prototype vehicle, which allowed engineering teams at First York and Equipmake to evaluate its performance and make any final adjustments. The completed 12 buses are now in full, reliable service across the city playing a key role in improving York’s urban air quality”, Equipmake states.

optare versa first york

Focus on Equipmake ZED powertrain

Equipmake repowers are tailored to specific requirements provided by the operator, with service routes simulated to ensure the optimum battery power level is selected to secure driving ranges of 150 to 250 miles.

The ZED, which is modular and scalable and can be applied to single as well as double-decker buses, features Equipmake’s in-house developed electric motor, inverter, and power electronics, combined with the latest in lithium-ion batteries. In addition, one of its most important features is Equipmake’s patented ultra-efficient thermal management system, which maintains all three of the ZED’s key components – the battery pack, motor, and inverter – at an optimum operating temperature, maximising vehicle range.

Featuring a water-glycol cooling circuit, the system provides interior heating during cold conditions with captured thermal energy. When the battery is depleted at the end of a complete duty cycle, it can be recharged at the depot overnight via a CSS DC charging point.

Repowering as a step on the journey to zero emission

Stuart Eyre, Engineering Manager of First York, said: “Following a successful initial trial, it’s great to see this new fleet of 12 upgraded, all-electric buses operational across York. Equipmake’s repower technology is an important step in our transition to achieving a fully electric fleet in York, continuing to help improve air quality in the city and supporting the goal of First Bus nationally to have a zero-emission fleet by 2035.”

Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, said:“We are delighted this 12-strong fleet of repowered Optare Versas is now operating in the city for First York, with all featuring our state-of-the-art electric drivetrain. This is fantastic news for passengers and the people of York, making a significant contribution to local air quality. For operators, repowering existing buses offers an excellent opportunity to achieve zero-emission targets, while making significant cost savings in parallel.”


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