Equipmake to re-power early Optare Versas with new electric drivetrain

Equipmake has been awarded a contract to convert 12 First York electric Optare Versa buses using its electric drivetrain.

Equipmake says it expects each converted bus to have a range of 150 miles in all UK weather conditions, thanks to a larger battery and a patented HVAC system, extending the life of existing zero-emissions public transport for the people of York.

Both single-decks, such as the Versa, and double-decks, can be repurposed to incorporate Equipmake’s scalable, modular Zero Emission Drivetrain.

Equipmake’s re-powering processes are tailored to requirements provided by the operator, with routes simulated to ensure the optimum battery power level is selected to secure driving ranges of 150 to 250 miles. Equipmake says this range is more than sufficient for a complete duty cycle, allowing buses to be recharged faster, overnight and operate for longer during the day. 

Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, says: “Re-powered buses represent a fantastic opportunity for operators to help accelerate the much-needed transition to sustainable mobility. Together with our new electric bus, the Jewel E, this technology can facilitate a significant reduction in air pollution across the country.”

Garry Birmingham, director for decarbonisation at First Bus, adds: “The retrofitting of our older electric buses is another great example of how we can maximise the lifespan of a bus, beyond 15 years, and in addition, significantly reduce the embodied carbon associated with manufacturing new vehicles. 

“These 12 re-powered buses use a clever and cost-effective technology, which underlines our commitment to offer sustainable transport solutions.”