Equipmake, the UK developer and manufacturer of best-in-class electrification products for battery-electric vehicle drivetrains, welcomes the opening of the latest Scottish Zero Emissions Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB), which reduces the price of a repowered bus by up to £50,000.
A Scottish Government scheme, ScotZEB is designed to accelerate the transition to zero emission buses in Scotland and follows on from first phase funding – which awarded £62m to nine bus operators and local authorities for 276 buses and associated charging infrastructure – with a new £58million fund. Companies like Equipmake, who offer repowering – where the diesel powertrain of a bus is replaced with a fully electric drivetrain – alongside local authorities and public service bus operators, are all eligible to bid for support with ScotZEB Phase 2.
Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, said: “The confirmation that the latest round of ScotZEB funding will assist with the purchase price of a repowered bus by up to £50,000 is fantastic news. This innovative initiative will enable fleets to go electric quickly and even more cost-effectively, helping them bridge the gap between diesel and a new electric bus fleet.
“We welcome the opening of applications for ScotZEB Phase 2 funding, news which will not only speed up the transition to a zero-emission bus fleet in Scotland but also support the growth of jobs in UK-wide, including at Equipmake.”
Equipmake’s repower technology programme involves an inspection of each bus to ensure its adaptability to its unique, scalable modular electric chassis. Once its suitability is verified, the process itself is quick, with up to five repowers a week being completed, ensuring a working bus is kept off the road for as short a time as possible.
Each repower is tailored to specific operator requirements, with service routes simulated to ensure the correct battery power level is selected for optimum performance and efficiency, and guaranteed driving ranges of 150 to 250 miles achievable. This is more than sufficient for a complete duty cycle, allowing buses to be recharged overnight.
As well as bringing environmental benefits, Equipmake’s repower programme makes sense from a cost perspective, with each conversion coming in at less than a third of the price of a new electric bus with the new ScotZEB grant included. And with most buses expected to remain in service for 14 years or beyond, operators can still make significant efficiencies by repowering a bus halfway through its working life.
Switching to an electric powertrain has huge potential to reduce on-fleet running costs too, not just in terms of energy used but on servicing too, while Equipmake’s e-powertrain technology – which supports UK PLC with 76% British-built content – is ready today.
Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, continued:“By repowering buses with electric power, the technology exists to bring cleaner air to towns and cities very rapidly indeed. The Scottish Government is to be praised for ScotZEB Phase 2 and we now call on the UK Government to outline an electric bus strategy that will see the purchase price of a repowered electric bus incentivised in England & Wales. “
“The opportunity is clear for all to see. Repowering the drivetrains of existing buses with electric technology at scale can rapidly and dramatically reduce pollution and provide the UK bus industry with a much-needed shot in the arm. The UK Government must seize the initiative and make it happen. Contributing to conversions would be an ideal way of doing so.”