Commercial Vehicles

Eberspaecher reveals air conditioner for e-buses


With the new AC138 EVO platform, the German company Eberspaecher is expanding its product range to include a rooftop air conditioner primarily for hybrid and battery-electric buses. The unit is based on heat pump technology patented by Eberspaecher.

According to a company release, the air conditioning system scores with low system complexity and high energy efficiency. Eberspaecher offers the unit in two dimensions for city buses and coaches. Both variants differ in dimensions, but each has 35 kW of cooling and 24 kW of heating capacity and weighs an identical 325 kilograms. In principle, the thermal management system is also compatible with vehicles with combustion engines.

As to how the air conditioning system works, the supplier says that all of the complexity in the air condtioner is borne by the software for regulating the air flaps. This allows for an overall weight reduction of up to 50 kg. In addition, the integrated exhaust air function allows energy recovery from the outflowing air. Independent control of the air flaps ensures optimum temperature control in the passenger compartment by mixing ambient and interior air.

For the time being, the system will be marketed with the climate-friendly refrigerant CO₂, R744. In the next step, however, other refrigerants are planned, for example, propane in direct evaporation, the company says.

The E-Control system from Eberspächer is used for system control of the new unit, whereby “the hardware and software from our own company (…) allow customer-specific adaptations or reprogramming.” An interface between the E-Control box and the respective customer system is possible via CAN to control the complete air conditioning in the bus, the German manufacturer says.

Eberspaecher has already received a first order for the new air conditioning system. The AC138 EVO will be used in series production for the all-electric city bus of an unnamed “leading international manufacturer” from 2025, according to the company based in Esslingen, in one of Germany’s largest automaking areas near Stuttgart.

Earlier this year, Eberspaecher announced its plans to build an electric vehicle heater factory in Bulgaria. The new site is to supply car manufacturers with electric vehicle heaters from the beginning of 2024. In 2018, the German company opened a factory for electric vehicle heaters in China. The main focus of the factory near Tianjin is the production of high-voltage heaters for electric and hybrid vehicles.


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