Equipmake Doubles Fleet Repower Agreement with Big Bus Tours

Equipmake, the UK-based engineering specialist, has expanded its collaboration with Big Bus Tours, doubling its initial fleet repowering contract from 10 to 20 vehicles. This extension marks a significant step towards a greener future for London's iconic sightseeing services.

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Published on
January 10, 2024

Expanding the Electric Horizon

Initially announced in September 2023, this strategic alliance aimed to repower ten double-decker open-top buses, transforming them from diesel to fully electric. Encouraged by the success of the initial phase, Equipmake and Big Bus Tours have now amplified their commitment, aiming to convert a fleet of 20 Ankai double-deck sightseeing buses.

Each vehicle will undergo a comprehensive transformation, integrating Equipmake's cutting-edge Zero-Emission Drivetrain (ZED) technology. This advanced system boasts a 327kWh battery, providing an impressive 120-mile range, perfectly suited for daily tour routes across London.

The timeline for this ambitious project is set for completion by January 2025, with a phased delivery plan ensuring three buses by May 2024, followed by two per month thereafter. The maiden repowered vehicle is scheduled to commence service in Q1 2024, showcasing the immediate strides towards a sustainable transportation ecosystem.

Industry Voices

Ian Foley, CEO of Equipmake, expressed enthusiasm about the extended partnership, highlighting, "Our industry-leading integrated zero emission drivetrain system continues to impress new and existing customers, as evidenced by the extension of this contract with Big Bus Tours."

Gerry Price, Executive Vice President of Group Operations at Big Bus Tours, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of Equipmake's performance and the decision to escalate their collaboration. He remarked, "...Equipmake's performance to date with the development of the first 10 buses ordered made the decision to increase the number an easy one and will further progress our class-leading zero emissions status in the London tourism market."

Revolutionizing Sustainability

Equipmake's bespoke approach tailors each repower to the specific vehicle's requirements, ensuring optimal battery utilization and achievable mileage on service routes. The modular and scalable ZED technology incorporates cutting-edge electric motors, inverters, power electronics, and lithium-ion batteries. Notably, Equipmake's patented ultra-efficient thermal management system maintains key components at optimal temperatures, maximizing vehicle range.

The environmental impact of this initiative is substantial. Repurposing existing bus chassis and bodies can save up to 90 tonnes of embedded CO2 compared to manufacturing new electric double-decker buses. Furthermore, these conversions cost less than half of a new electric bus, offering significant savings to operators over the vehicle's operational lifespan.

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