UK technology powers converted First York electric bus fleet

The historic Yorkshire city has brought public transport into the future with a 12 vehicle upgrade via a homemade drive system.

UK-base Equipmake has worked with service operator First York to transform the Optare Versa single-deck models into electrified buses by using the company’s Zero-Emission Drivetrain (ZED) technology.

In this instance, a 274kWh capacity battery has been installed, with a range of 150miles in all UK weather conditions. Now in service, the upgraded vehicles are contributing to a wider plan to improve air quality in York.

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

Conversions offer a low-waste, highly accessible and affordable solution to upgrading public transport systems for the net zero age. Equipmake’s ‘repowers’, for example, are tailored to each operator and can offer up to 250miles of secure driving range – far in excess of a complete duty cycle for the day. Recharge then takes place overnight, offering more efficient, cheaper and faster refuelling via a CSS DC charging point. 

‘We are delighted this 12-strong fleet of repowered Optare Versas is now operating in the city for First York, with all featuring our state-of-the-art electric drivetrain,’ said Equipmake CEO Ian Foley. ‘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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Image: Equipmake


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