Electric powertrain experts Equipmake and Spanish bus builder Beulas introduce Jewel E, a full electric double decker bus with claimed range of up to 250 miles. Battery capacity can reach (optionally) 543 kWh.
The new electric double decker (which is the electric variant of Beulas Jewel model) will be built at a new manufacturing plant in Norfolk (UK) opened in late 2019, with body produced by Beulas in Girona (Spain) and is set to play a crucial role in UK Government’s commitment to rapidly introduce more zero emission buses as part of its Bus Back Better strategy.
Jewel E features Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) which has been designed and built from the ground-up in Norfolk. What is very important, Jewel E is the first EV bus to meet Transport for London’s (TfL) 2024 bus safety standard requirements, Equipmake states.
Testing of Jewel E begins Q4 2021 with first vehicles expected to start in-service trials in Q1 2022. Manufacture and sales of Jewel E will begin in 2022.
Beulas Jewel E with Equipmake
The Equipmake – Beulas Jewel E will help meet ever-increasing enormous demand: 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 Arthur D. Little mentioned by the powertrain builder.
Equipmake also develops proprietary technology in the shape of its ultra-compact, lightweight high performance ‘spoke’ electric motor, the APM200. This versatile motor, which is one of the highest power/torque dense production automotive electric motor in the world, is used by Equipmake’s EBus chassis and will also power the upcoming Ariel HIPERCAR.
On site in Snetterton, the company provides the complete EV solution, with the capability to design, test and manufacture everything from motors to fully electrified platforms, supporting the automotive and aerospace sectors.
Under the skin of the Beulas Jewel E lies Equipmake’s advanced propulsion technology – Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) – which is modular and scaleable, capable of supporting different bus sizes. ZED 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.
The challenge of building a battery-electric double decker bus
Integrated into the Jewel E chassis ZED is the company’s HTM 3500 motor, launched in late 2020, 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 3,500 Nm at just 1,000 rpm 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, enabling more than enough daily operating mileage», Equipmake says.
Thermal management system 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.
In London alone, buses on the capital city’s streets cover over 475 million kilometres a year, keeping people mobile and connected, 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 equirements 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.
Beulas and Equipmake working together
Ian Foley, Managing Director, Equipmake said: “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. Equipmake has taken all of this into account and the result is our 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, Beulas said: “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.”