Electric motors and battery packs will transform more than just passenger vehicles. The technology could be a boon for commercial vehicles, with many sectors already exploring or beginning to adopt new propulsion systems. One vehicle likely to completely go all-electric is buses. Set routes, scheduled recharge times, and good logistics could eliminate dirty urban transit, and one such offering that’s in development is the double-decker Jewel E.
The double-decker bus comes from Norwich-based Equipmake, a commercial vehicle electrification specialist, which built the Jewel E in partnership with Beulas, the Spanish coachbuilder. The Jewel E packs Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain, which can adapt to fit different bus sizes. The powertrain can produce up to 536 bhp (400 kilowatts) and an astounding, though necessary, 3,500 Newton-metres (2,581 pound-feet) of torque. The company’s HTM 3500 motor can pair with a lithium-ion battery pack that can be as big as 543-kilowatt-hours.
Gallery: Jewel E All-Electric Double Decker Bus
The batteries and torque give the double-decker a range of up to 250 miles (402 kilometres), which should be plenty for a bus’s day-to-day schedule. Equipmake says the Jewel E is also the first all-electric bus to meet the Transport for London bus safety standards that arrive in 2024. Not only does that mean the bus is designed for London’s gruelling bus service system, but also that it has enhanced safety features.
The bus is expected to begin testing before the end of the year. In-service trails are expected to start in the first quarter of next year, with plans for production and sales to begin in 2022, too. The UK wants at least 4,000 more British-built zero-emission buses in the country by 2024. Buses are perfect vehicles for electrification due to their regimented use and short driving distances, and recharge times aren’t as much of a concern when the buses are parked overnight.