An MCI sister company has introduced a battery-electric low-floor purpose-built bus with a capacity of up to 33 seated passengers and six wheelchair passengers.
The Equess CHARGE builds on ARBOC’s proven Equess transit bus platform and utilizes the in-field electric vehicle technology from New Flyer of America, another NFI Group subsidiary.
The vehicle offers battery technology made in America by XALT Energy, Siemens electric motors with efficient regenerative energy recovery, and charging infrastructure compliant with industry standards.
NFI is leading the zero-emission evolution with more than 1,900 electric buses on the road in the United States and Canada, according to ARBOC General Manager Doug Minix.
“With the Equess CHARGE, we continue to lead the industry in low-floor, accessible mobility — providing 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,” Minix said.
Equess CHARGE features low-floor cutaways with no steps throughout the bus, and a spacious 39-inch entrance door opening that provides an enhanced level of accessibility.
The vehicle has a carrying capacity of up to 33 seated passengers and six wheelchair passengers. That extra passenger space is accomplished by optimized battery placement on the roof of the vehicle and in a rear compartment. Extended-range configurations allow for up to 437-kilowatt-hour battery capacity with anticipated transit ranges of about 230 miles on a single charge.
Production to begin soon
The Equess CHARGE prototype is complete and manufacturing of the 35-foot model is slated to begin this year. The first production bus will then undergo testing through the Federal Transit Administration’s Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pennsylvania, with production for distribution anticipated in late 2021.
The battery-electric bus will be distributed exclusively by Creative Bus Sales in the United States, and by Dynamic Specialty Vehicles, Crestline Coach, and Creative Carriage in Canada.
ARBOC is North America’s low-floor, body-on-chassis (“cutaway”) bus leader, serving transit, paratransit and shuttle applications. With more than 4,000 buses produced, ARBOC leads the low-floor cutaway bus market, providing unsurpassed passenger accessibility and comfort. ARBOC also offers the Equess, a medium-duty bus used for transit and shuttle applications.