Equipmake and Beulas join forces with Go-Ahead London with in-service trials of new electric double-decker bus

Equipmake, a leading commercial vehicle electrification specialist, and Spanish coach builder Beulas, are joining forces with Go-Ahead, London’s largest bus operator. They will start in-service trials of the new Jewel E electric double-decker bus on the capital’s streets in the first quarter of 2022.

The Jewel E is powered by Equipmake’s breakthrough Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED), which transforms zero emission bus operating capabilities. Designed and developed in the UK, the ZED offers operators three modular battery pack options of up to 543kWh, which is the largest capacity battery of any two-axle double-decker electric bus in the world.

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This battery set-up delivers an unmatched electric driving range of up to 300 miles, (483km). This is more than sufficient to ensure the Jewel E can easily complete an entire duty cycle without the need to stop and recharge.

Equipmake’s modular design gives operators the flexibility to scale the amount of battery throughout the life of a bus. This helps with future-proofing it for a range of routes and distances.

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. This is a company with more than 87 years of experience in the sector.

The vehicle chassis has been specifically designed for the Equipmake Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) by Agrale in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They are a leading truck and bus chassis manufacturer established in 1962.

The initiative will bring new jobs to the Norfolk area. It  will also play a key role in helping the UK Government achieve its target of introducing at least 4,000 more British-built zero emission buses into the UK market by 2024 through its Bus Back Better national strategy.

The Jewel E will also help meet exceptional exponential demand, as the global electric bus market is expected to accelerate from 300,000 vehicles per annum to one million by 2030.

The Jewel E is one of the first electric buses to meet the latest Transport for London (TfL) bus safety standard specifications and requirements for 2024. This includes 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. The Jewel E is suitable for operation not only in the UK capital but also in the surrounding provinces.

Ian Foley, Equipmake managing director, 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, Go-Ahead London engineering director, said: “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 buses 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.”

It’s good to see that more towns and cities in the UK are starting to make the move towards electric public transport. This was highlighted recently at Cop26 with Stagecoach providing delegates 10 of their new iconic red London double-decker buses.

These buses came straight from ADL’s nearby production line in Falkirk to provide their service for a group of several hundred key COP26 VIPs including world leaders. Following the event, the buses will travel to London, where they will deliver passenger services for Stagecoach on behalf of Transport for London (TfL).

First Bus Scotland also provided 22 electric buses for the event. The company recently finished phase one of First Bus’s electric vehicle (EV) charging hub in Glasgow, Scotland. When finished, the hub will be able to accommodate and charge up to 300 electric buses at the site. It will see the introduction of 150 electric buses over the next year and a half.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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