Commercial vehicle electrification firm Equipmake and Spanish coach builder Beulas are joining forces with Go-Ahead London to start in-service trials of the new Jewel E double-decker electric bus on the capital’s streets early next year.
The Jewel E is powered by Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED), which transforms zero emission bus operating capabilities. Designed and developed in the UK, Equipmake’s ZED offers operators three modular battery pack options of up to 543kWh – the largest capacity battery of any two-axle double-decker electric bus in the world.
According to the collaboration, the buses will deliver an unmatched electric driving range of up to 300 miles, which is more than sufficient to ensure the Jewel E can easily complete an entire duty cycle without the need to stop and recharge.
Furthermore, Equipmake’s modular design gives operators the flexibility to scale the amount of battery throughout the life of a bus future-proofing it for a range of routes and distances.
The Jewel E is set to be manufactured in 2022 at an all-new facility in Norfolk. The vehicle body is produced by Beulas in Girona, Spain. The vehicle chassis has been specifically designed for the Equipmake ZED by a truck and bus chassis manufacturer Agrale in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ian Foley, managing director, Equipmake, said: “Our Jewel E double decker bus integrates the latest electric powertrain technologies to result in a highly efficient and cost-effective, purpose-built commercial vehicle, one of the first that meets the increasingly strict Transport for London requirements for buses operating across the capital.
“In-service trials with London’s largest bus operator will allow us to continue the vehicle’s development during real-world usage cycles on public roads, a vital next step in perfecting the double decker electric bus before it enters full service.”
The initiative will also play a role in helping UK government achieve its target of introducing at least 4,000 more British-built zero emission buses into the UK market by 2024, through its Bus Back Better national strategy. The Jewel E will also help meet demand, as the global electric bus market is expected to accelerate from 300,000 vehicles per annum to one million by 2030.
Richard Harrington, engineering director, Go-Ahead London, added “We believe passionately that converting our fleet from internal combustion power to electric energy will deliver a long-term solution to cut emissions and help provide a clean air environment.
“To date, we have already saved 700 tonnes of CO2 with our existing electric fleet and opened Europe’s first all-electric bus garage, so we have the necessary infrastructure already in place to seamlessly integrate the Jewel E test-programme into our services.”