Bus manufacturer ARBOC Specialty Vehicles has introduced a new battery-electric low-floor purpose-built bus. The Equess CHARGE, which is available in 30-foot and 35-foot models, builds on ARBOC’s proven Equess transit bus platform, and uses EV technology from fellow NFI Group subsidiary New Flyer of America.
The Equess platform offers an enhanced level of accessibility—it has no steps throughout the bus, a spacious 39-inch entrance door, and a high entry ramp ratio for passengers with mobility assist devices. It can carry up to 33 seated passengers and 6 wheelchair passengers.
The Equess CHARGE includes XALT battery technology. The roof-mounted energy storage system consists of 4 or 5 strings of batteries, depending on bus length. Each string is housed in an IP67 weather-tight enclosure. There’s also a roof-mounted battery thermal management system. Extended-range configurations allow for up to 437 kWh of battery capacity, and ranges of up to 230 miles.
The Siemens ELFA 3 direct-drive motors are designed to deliver the highest torque available, making the bus suitable for cities with steep grades. The Equess CHARGE also features Siemens inverter rack assemblies (702 volts primary and 460 volts secondary), and Parker Vansco electric controls. It is compatible with a depot charger with a common CCS Type 1 plug.
The Equess CHARGE prototype is complete, and manufacturing of the 35-foot model is slated to commence in early 2021. The first production bus will then undergo the usual testing in Altoona, and production for distribution is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Equess CHARGE will be distributed exclusively by Creative Bus Sales in the US, and by Dynamic Specialty Vehicles, Crestline Coach and Creative Carriage in Canada.
“NFI is leading the zero-emission evolution, with over 1,900 electric buses on the road in the United States and Canada. Today, we expand NFI’s comprehensive suite of sustainable transportation solutions with our Equess CHARGE,” said Doug Minix, General Manager, ARBOC. “With the Equess CHARGE, we continue to lead the industry in low-floor, accessible mobility, providing transportation solutions that improve the environment while delivering a better experience for passengers through spacious entranceways, elimination of steps, superior entry ramp ratio, and a smoother ride.”