Equipmake wants to electrify Wrightbus’ double decker

British conversion company Equipmake has announced a new version of its modular electric chassis to electrify a diesel-powered Wrightbus Streetdeck. Incidentally, that is the same model the manufacturer is looking to repower itself.

Image: Wrightbus

Equipmake uses its scalable modular Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED). In this case, it is paired with its HTM 3500 electric motor, which offers 400 kW of power and 3,500 Nm of torque. It also uses a 436kWh lithium-ion battery, allowing the electrified bus to go up to 200 miles (322 km) on one charge.

The retrofitter emphasises that its solution fits “neatly into existing space within the vehicle, meaning there is no reduction in passenger carrying ability.” It will also add an “ultra-efficient thermal management system” to keep the battery, motor, and inverter at the optimal temperature to optimise range. Moreover, the electrified bus has DC charging capabilities.

According to Equipmake, the conversion will take “just three weeks” and cost less than 200,000 pounds, which is “less than half a brand-new electric bus.”

“We’ve worked incredibly hard to develop this stand-out electric repower solution for the Streetdeck and the results are sector-leading,” says Equipmake CEO Ian Foley. “Our Zero Emission Drivetrain technology has a crucial role to play in accelerating the transition to a fully electric UK fleet – and we look forward to converting as many of these vehicles as possible in the coming months.”

Incidentally, Equipmake is not the only one looking to convert the diesel-powered double decker to electric. Last week, Wrightbus announced a new business unit called NewPower, aiming to convert diesel buses to electric. Given the lower operating costs, Wrightbus hopes to persuade public transport operators to convert their existing vehicles to electric drives in the middle of their life cycle and not to wait until older diesel buses have to be replaced before electrifying them. 

While the manufacturer does not confirm this in its press release, local media reported that Wrightbus will initially focus “on fitting its tailored electric drivetrain into Streetdeck buses” – the same model for which Equipmake just announced a new repower solution. However, that should not be a problem. Wrightbus can currently convert up to 500 buses per year (and will look to adapt its repowering solutions to other models as well), and, according to Equipmake, “the Streetdeck is one of the most popular double decker buses in service in the UK, with many thousands of vehicles in operation across the country by the UK’s biggest fleets.” It is thus safe to assume that there is enough work for both parties.



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