Optare have launched their Metrodecker EV prototype at the Euro Bus Expo exhibition in Birmingham. The vehicle will go into service in central London with Go-Ahead in early 2017 to prove the concept and provide feedback for further development.
The 10.5 m lightweight, fully electric, double deck vehicle has a passenger capacity of 96 and a forecast range of between 105 and 145 miles on a single charge. Optare is working on further developments which should increase the range to over 150 miles.
The bus is powered by a Magtec driveline consisting of maintenance free lithium iron magnesium phosphate batteries. The vehicle has a fully integral frame and boasts best in class kerb weight and capacity. It will initially be available in the 10.5mTfL specification but there are plans to develop a vehicle for provincial customers following thorough testing of the prototype London vehicle.
Magtec who supply the electric drivelines to Optare are also displaying at the exhibition. Pictured here is a power unit (arrowed) showing how small the electric motor is, compared to the space required for batteries.
Further updates from the show will take place during the day..