Equipmake has delivered a fleet of 12 electric buses to the UK-based bus operator First York, marking a significant step in the city’s efforts to improve urban air quality.  

The buses, which are now fully operational across York, have been upgraded with Equipmake’s Zero-Emission Drivetrain (ZED) technology, after converting the Optare Versa singe-deck models. 

This upgraded fleet now features a 274kWh battery that offers a range of around 150 miles in all UK weather conditions. 

The latest milestone comes after a successful trial with the prototype vehicle. First York and Equipmake’s engineering teams were able to fine-tune the performance before rolling out the complete fleet.  

These buses are now equipped as per the operator’s specific requirements, with simulations conducted to ensure the optimum battery power level is selected, offering driving ranges of 150 to 250 miles. 

First York engineering manager Stuart Eyre said: “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.” 

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Equipmake said that its ZED technology is suitable for both single and double-decker buses and integrates in-house power electronics electric motor, and inverter, with the latest lithium-ion batteries.  

In addition, the advanced water-glycol cooling circuit of the system helps in temperature management and provides interior heating by capturing thermal energy.  

At the end of a duty cycle, the buses can be recharged overnight at the depot using a CSS DC charging point. 

Upgrading the existing buses with Equipmake’s technology is expected to offer significant cost and environmental benefits.  

In March 2023, Equipmake entered a partnership with Westway Coach Company to support the electrification of its fleet.