Ashok Leyland-owned Optare has won an order from London bus operator, Tower Transit, for the supply of 37 of its Metrodecker electric buses.
The battery-electric version of the typical red double-decker bus is propelled by the proven ZF electric portal axle, AxTrax AVE. ZF is now enabling two bus operators in London to offer clean mobility. Optare expects that one hundred electric double-decker buses will be on the roads of British city centers by the end of the year.
With the AxTrax AVE electric portal axle, ZF is providing a successful model for achieving sustainable local public transportation. Globally, more than 2,200 electric buses equipped with the AxTrax AVE have already covered 150 million local, emission free kilometres. Tower Transit is now the second bus operator in London to decide in favour of the proven electric portal axle.
Over the course of the year, 37 Optare Metrodecker EVs, battery-electric versions of the iconic red double-decker buses, are to begin serving both the No.23 bus route, running past Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace and route C3, which serves south-eastern London. Operator Metroline has already been running 31 Metrodecker EVs since last summer.
“Central London has one of the world’s strictest regimes for regulating emissions. The multiple contracts awarded by the city, demonstrate that the AxTrax AVE is a technology which allows our customer, Optare, to meet the most demanding standards for clean and attractive local public transportation”, says Andreas Moser, Head of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Technology division.
ZF's versatile all-rounder
The electric axle can be combined with numerous drive configurations – ranging from hybrid and fuel cell drive systems to battery-electric solutions. The low-profile design also provides manufacturers with a great deal of latitude in the design of the passenger area, enabling layouts such as full low-floor buses. As a systems supplier, ZF says it delivers the appropriate hardware and software to optimally tune performance, efficiency and service life of the drive.Powerful and environmentally friendly, ZF's AxTrax AVE electric drive axle drives low-floor buses up to a maximum axle load of 13,000 kilograms. The electric motors integrated into the wheel heads have a total output of 250 kilowatts.
Meanwhile, the Department for Transport has announced that local authorities can apply to become the UK’s first all-electric bus town and a partial grant of up to £50 million (Rs 453 crore) is being offered to achieve this. Expressions of interest are to be made to the Department of Transport by June 4
According to Optare, replacing 150 diesel Euro 6 vehicles with 150 of Optare battery electric buses will mean a class-leading saving of at least 9000T of greenhouse gases each year and a 30% saving in energy costs versus other manufacturers.