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Equipmake begins final testing of electric bus powertrain; APM200 spoke motors

UK-based electrification company Equipmake has begun the final testing phase of an all-new electric bus powertrain. UK-based performance and durability development is set to finish at the end of the year.

Equipmake_020

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

The EBus drivetrain uses two of Equipmake’s APM200 spoke motors. 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.

001a_Spoke Motor exploded view annotated

The drivetrain also features a number of innovations that not only improve vehicle range but reduce capital cost. By optimizing the heating and cooling of the vehicle and maximizing 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 of 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.

The £7.5-million Advanced Propulsion Centre-funded project has involved multiple partners lead by Equipmake with grant funding designed to take the bus to production.

The drivetrain also features a number of innovations that not only improve vehicle range but reduce capital cost. By optimizing the heating and cooling of the vehicle and maximizing 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 of 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.

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