Trials of electric double decker bus in London scheduled for 2022

Equipmake and Beulas have teamed up with Go-Ahead to start trials of an electric double decker bus in London next year.

Equipmake, the leading commercial vehicle electrification specialist, and Spanish coachbuilder Beulas, will be launching in-service trials of their Jewel E double decker electric bus from Q1 2022.

Designed and developed in the UK, Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) offers operators three modular battery pack options of up to 543kWh, which it claims is the largest capacity battery of any two-axle double decker electric bus in the world.

With a pure electric driving range of up to 300 miles, the manufacturer says the Jewel E can easily complete an entire duty cycle without the need to stop and recharge.

Now, the electric double decker will be put through its paces, to see if it can cope with the demands of operating on the streets of London, where buses cover around 300 million miles a year.

The Jewel E is one of the first EV bus to meet the latest Transport for London (TfL) bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024, including enhanced safety features to give the public, drivers and passengers peace of mind. Equipmake’s development team has worked closely with Go-Ahead London’s engineering director, Richard Harrington, and his team of experts to meet the TfL’s 2024 specifications.

Ian Foley, managing director of 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.

“I am delighted to announce our partnership with Go-Ahead. 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.”

Richard Harrington, engineering director of Go-Ahead London, added: “At Go-Ahead London, 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.

“What makes the Jewel E even more exciting is that it is one of the first EV bus to meet the new Transport for London (TfL) bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024, which is a key advantage for our passengers and drivers and the public.”

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, with the project expected to bring at least 4,000 more British-built zero emission buses into the UK market by 2024 through its Bus Back Better national strategy.

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