With more and more cities congested and polluted, electric buses will become the norm. Equipmake has now entered the final testing phase of its electric bus drivetrain with UK-based durability development set to finish at the end of the year. 

In-service trials of the vehicle will then begin in Q1 2020 by Brazilian commercial vehicle manufacturer, Agrale, who will launch the electric bus first in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2021.

The EBus drivetrain features two APM200 motors at its heart, the company’s innovative spoke-architecture electric motor, which is believed to be the highest power/torque dense automotive electric motor in the world. These motors, which will also power the upcoming Ariel HIPERCAR, are mated to proven Semikron SKAI inverters, while battery technology is provided by the latest generation lithium-ion cells.

The drivetrain also features a number of novel innovations, that not only improve vehicle range but reduce capital cost. By optimising the heating and cooling of the vehicle and maximising overall energy efficiency, the bus will have enough range for one day’s running without the need for charging. In this way, the vehicle is not reliant on infrastructure and can maintain flexibility off route.

To charge the vehicle, the operator simply needs access to a standard three-phase supply, which will fully charge the vehicle in around five hours. However, the powertrain also supports fast charging – and has an onboard charger. Equipmake’s EBus system is also modular, meaning it can be adapted to different bus lengths and vehicles, including a double decker. The Agrale bus in testing is based on the MT17, a 12m single deck model capable of carrying 70 passengers.