Equipmake signs electric bus repower fleet deal with Golden Tours

Electrification engineering specialist Equipmake has announced it has secured a successive contract with Golden Tours to repower a further ten Volvo B5 London Tour Buses, using its in-house developed Zero-Emission Drivetrain (ZED).
Equipmake signs electric bus repower fleet deal with Golden Tours
Golden Tours Volvo B5. Courtesy of Equipmake.

The contract follows a £2 million initial order in February from Golden Tours, illustrating the scaling of initial customer relationships as product is delivered and as Equipmake’s customers derive the operational benefits of electrification within their fleets.

Golden Tours was established in 1984 and specialises in London sightseeing and UK tourism, providing high quality tours around the capital and day trips to UK locations such as Stonehenge and Bath. Golden Tours has an established partnership with internationally renowned Gray Line Association, the largest sightseeing tour company globally, and is a preferred partner of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Equipmake expects to commence delivery of these ten repowered buses over the coming months.

“Golden Tours is a leading tour and activity company in London and across the UK, and I am pleased to announce it has followed its February order with another substantial commitment for Equipmake-repowered buses” said Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, commenting on the contract. “This new contract is testament to the quality and reliability of our products and reflects an increasing move in the sector towards sustainable operational alternatives. Equipmake’s bus repowering provides an economically compelling alternative to purchasing new electric vehicles and we are delighted that we can support Golden Tours as it works to make its fleet sustainable.”

Equipmake’s ZED, which will be integrated in each of Golden Tours bus, is a modular and scalable repowering solution, its versatility making it applicable to both single and double-deck applications. The technology features Equipmake’s in-house developed electric motor, inverter, and power electronics, which are combined with the latest lithium-ion batteries.

One of the most innovative and important features of the ZED is its patented, ultra-efficient thermal management system, which maintains the battery pack, motor and inverter at an optimal temperature, therefore maximising vehicle range.

An advanced water-glycol cooling circuit brings an additional benefit by providing interior heating during cold conditions with captured thermal energy. Once the battery has been depleted following a duty cycle, it can be recharged at the depot via a CCS DC charging point.

Equipmake’s technology has the advantage that it saves 90 tonnes of CO2 by repurposing the existing chassis and body, rather than producing an entirely new double deck bus. Additionally, each conversion costs less than half the price of a new electric bus, and with most buses in service for more than 14 years, operators can make significant savings by repowering their buses halfway through its operational life cycle.

“By extending our relationship with Equipmake, Golden Tours is ensuring its operations are as sustainable as possible” added Mikesh Palan, Managing Director at Golden Tours. “We offer bus services to the UK’s most famous and iconic locations, and by partnering with Equipmake, we will enhance our services for thousands of passengers a day. The cutting-edge capabilities of Equipmake’s Zero-Emission Drivetrain and its many cost, sustainability and efficiency advantages highlighted clear benefits of this continued partnership. We look forward to bringing these electric buses into service and continuing to put sustainability at the forefront of our business strategy.”

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