Omnibusspiegel very positive on Ebusco 18 meter

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EBUSCO 2.2 ARTICULATED BUS

Customers had to wait a long time for an articulated bus from Ebusco. A new generation of the basic version has arrived in the meantime: in the autumn of 2018 Ebusco 2.1 was succeeded by the 2.2, with a modified manufacturing concept. This year, the articulated bus is finally about to set off.

Picture 1: The Ebusco 2.2 articulated bus is available for a number of operating concepts, a traditional strength of the Dutch manufacturer is large battery packs for charging at a depot. Naturally, a range of door configurations is available for the articulated bus.

One of Ebusco’s trademarks has always been high battery capacity, and the Dutch company also lives up this image with the Ebusco 2.2 Articulated bus. Although the standard version is “only” equipped with 363 kWh, a 525 kWh version is available as an option. All charging options are offered, not only charging by plug but also by normal or inverted pantograph.

The batteries are now provided by CATL, a fast-growing Chinese battery specialist. The batteries are now entirely located on the roof. Ebusco remains true to LFP cell technology (lithium iron phosphate) because it is considered the best solution currently available in terms of safety and efficiency.

The articulated bus and the associated solo vehicle are of conventional steel construction. In contrast, Ebusco is pursuing new routes with the vehicle architecture: instead of the familiar central motor, the 2.2 articulated bus features the ZF electric portal axle AVE 130 with two electric drives in the wheel hubs. Their total output of 250 kW is generally considered adequate for articulated buses in normal topography.

In any case, the maximum torque on the wheels of 22,000Nm in total is unimpeachable. The drive axle is also in an unusual position, it is not installed in the trailer, but as a central axle in the front section. With this approach, the Dutch company has returned to a design that was common until the early 1980s. However, in contrast to those days, the rear axle has dual tyres, otherwise it would have problems with the weight.

Because of the rear trailer’s traction, the articulation system is subject to less strain, and the conception of the anti-jackknifing system is easier as well.  This articulation system comes from Hübner: in view of the European target markets.

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Modular design is state of the art nowadays, and Ebusco’s articulated bus developers have also embraced this approach. As a result, the newcomer’s front (2.75m) and rear (3.4m) overhang have exactly the same specifications as the 12-metre version. However, this only applies approximately to the front wheelbase, at least if the data sheet is to be believed. It is given as 5,875mm, but as 5,850 for the solo vehicle. The distance between the central and rear axles is 6,025mm, giving an overall length of 18.05m.

Ebusco also relies on western suppliers for its air conditioning. The system comes from Heavac, a member of the Aurora Group. Alternatively, the customer can opt for a Thermo King system.

In the basic configuration, the new articulated bus carries up to 130 passengers, including seating for 55 people. The gross vehicle weight of this basic version is given as 19t, the maximum permissible gross laden weight is 29t.

The Ebusco 2.2 Articulated is a further element to boost the Dutch manufacturer’s successes in the German market. The trend towards depot charging is clearly a dominant issue, particularly for transport companies that are only just starting to focus on electric buses. According to information from the VDV (the association of German transport companies), more than 80% of companies expect a range of over 200km, and the Ebusco 2.2 Articulated bus is right on the button, especially with the large battery pack.

First in line this year, however, is the delivery of more solo vehicles of the 2.2 type, which will go the Stadtwerke Bonn (four units), Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (another eight) and to Transdev Rhein-Main with its Alpina brand (13 units). And the Dutch company also has another string to its bow, the lightweight 3.0. Following the solo vehicle, the design engineers are now working on the associated articulated bus, two of the first units produced for customers will also go to Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft next year.  It’s plain to see that the words “standing still” are not in Ebusco’s vocabulary. DH/KK

Picture 2: Batteries are no longer situated low down in the rear of the vehicle. As a result, the platform on which the back seat has rested up to now has gone.

Picture 3: In the Ebusco 2.2 Articulated, all battery packs are accommodated on the roof, located under the panels in front of and behind the articulation system. Right at the front, the air conditioning system for the front section can be seen, with charging rails behind it. The blowers for the air conditioning system are located on the trailer roof behind the battery packs, with the system itself behind the blowers.

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