ARBOC Specialty Vehicles LLC, a subsidiary of bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc., has introduced its battery-electric low-floor purpose-built bus: the zero-emission Equess CHARGE.
Available in 30- and 35-foot models, the Equess CHARGE builds on ARBOC’s Equess transit bus platform and utilizes the in-field electric vehicle technology from New Flyer of America, another NFI Group subsidiary. The Equess CHARGE offers battery technology made by XALT, SIEMENS electric motors with efficient regenerative energy recovery and charging infrastructure compliant with industry standards.
“With the Equess CHARGE, we are continuing to provide 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,” says Doug Minix, general manager of ARBOC.
Passengers on the battery-electric Equess CHARGE will experience a smooth ride and added benefits the Equess design offers. With no steps throughout the bus, a spacious 39” entrance door opening and a superior entry ramp ratio for passengers with mobility assist devices, the Equess platform offers an enhanced level of accessibility. The Equess CHARGE features a carrying capacity of up to 33 seated passengers and six wheelchair passengers, all accomplished by optimized battery placement on the roof of the vehicle and in a rear compartment. Extended range configurations allow for up to 437 kWh battery capacity with anticipated transit ranges of approximately 230 miles on a single charge.
The Equess CHARGE will feature the SIEMENS ELFA 3 direct drive motor and a roof-mounted energy storage system (ESS) comprised of 4-5 strings of batteries (dependent on bus length), with each string housed in an IP67 (weather tight) enclosure. The Equess CHARGE also includes a roof-mounted battery thermal management system, SIEMENS inverter rack assemblies (with 702 V primary and 460 V secondary), Parker Vansco electric controls and multiplexing, and will be 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 will commence early this year. The first production bus will then undergo testing through the Federal Transit Administration’s Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pa., with production for distribution anticipated in Q4. The Equess CHARGE will be distributed exclusively by Creative Bus Sales in the U.S., and by Dynamic Specialty Vehicles, Crestline Coach and Creative Carriage in Canada.