First York puts 12 repowered electric buses into service


First York has put into service a fleet of 12 Optare Versa single-deck repowered electric buses that have been converted by Equipmake.

The buses incorporate Equipmake’s Zero-Emission Drivetrain (ZED) technology, which in this specification, features a 274kWh capacity battery, providing a range of 150 miles in all UK weather conditions.

It follows a successful trial of an initial converted prototype vehicle, which allowed engineering teams at First York and Equipmake to evaluate its performance and make any final adjustments.

Equipmake repowers are tailored to specific requirements provided by the operator, with service routes simulated to ensure the optimum battery power level is selected to secure driving ranges of 150 to 250 miles.

The ZED, which is completely modular and scalable and can be applied to single as well as double-decker buses, features the firm’s in-house developed electric motor, inverter, and power electronics, combined with the latest in lithium-ion batteries.

Each conversion costs less than half of a new electric bus.

Stuart Eyre, Engineering Manager of First York, said: “Following a successful initial trial, it’s great to see this new fleet of 12 upgraded, all-electric buses operational across York.

“Equipmake’s repower technology is an important step in our transition to achieving a fully electric fleet in York, continuing to help improve air quality in the city and supporting the goal of First Bus nationally to have a zero-emission fleet by 2035.”

Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, said: “This is fantastic news for passengers and the people of York, making a significant contribution to local air quality.

“For operators, repowering existing buses offers an excellent opportunity to achieve zero-emission targets, while making significant cost savings in parallel.”


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