Electric double-deck prototype launched by Optare at Euro Bus Expo

Electric double-deck prototype launched by Optare at Euro Bus Expo

Optare launched a prototype of its lightweight double-deck Metrodecker with a full-electric drivetrain at Euro Bus Expo. The Metrodecker EV was presented as a 10.5m Tfl-specification vehicle in Go Ahead livery for route 36 and is due to go into trial service in London in early 2017.

The chassis, which boasts an unladen weight of around 10.3tonnes, will have a passenger capacity of 96, according to Optare, with an operating range of between 105 and 145 miles on a single, overnight charge.

The Metrodecker has a Magtec electric drive and packs just 200kW of batteries, considerably less than the BYD electric double-deck buses, but consequently carrying less weight and therefore room for more passengers. Optare is aware that the range is at the lower end of daily operating requirements and is banking on coming developments in battery energy density to increase it to more than 150 miles a day by the time that it starts producing production vehicles in late 2017/early 2018.

“The Metrodecker EV opens the ultra-low emission double-deck bus market to Optare,” says Robert Drewery, commercial director. “Across all trials we have conducted on the Euro 6 diesel version for the Metrodecker, the vehicle is consistently delivering class-leading economy.

“We are expecting an equally efficient performance from the Metrodecker EV.”