London's New Routemaster bus is given electric makeover

1 Nov 2022

The New Routemaster, a modern reinvention of the classic 1950s London double-decker bus, has been reinvented again – this time with an electric powertrain.

Electrification specialist Equipmake, which has already shown a number of ‘repowered’ buses converted to run on battery-electric power, has just revealed the first zero-emission New Routemaster at the Euro Bus Expo show in Birmingham.

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The hybrid diesel-electric powertrain that the bus was initially fitted with has been removed, with Equipmake instead installed its own battery electric unit. That features the firm’s HTM 3500 electric motor, which delivers 400kW of power and 2581lb ft of torque, along with a 400kWh battery. That gives a claimed range of 150 miles.

The ‘repower’ process that Equipmake has put the New Routemaster through at its base in Snetterton, Norfolk also includes fits its own thermal management system, which uses a water-glycol cooling circuit.

The reworked New Routemaster that Equipmaker has produces will be operated by Metroline, and assessed over the next six months to gather test data for Transport for London (TfL). The bus will be based at Metroline’s Holloway depot, where Zenobe has produces charging infrastructure and battery data analytics.

Equipmake boss Ian Foler said: “London is leading the way in the adoption of green technologies for large commercial vehicles and as TfL continues to evaluate a range of clean technologies, we are confident our repower systems can play a rapid role in accelerating any zero-emission vehicle strategy.”

The New Routemaster was produced by Wrightbus from 2011 until 2017, with a total of 1000 units delivered, most of which remain in use on TfL routes in London. It was subsequently replaced by the Wright SRM bus in 2016.


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