UK’s Arrival unveils pre-production prototype electric bus

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BANBURY, England, November 18 (Businesshala) – British electric van and bus maker Arrival on Thursday unveiled a new prototype of an electric bus that it expects to start production next year to sell for the price of a conventional diesel bus .

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The pre-production bus will begin hitting the streets in the next few weeks, and series production is set to begin at a plant in the US state of South Carolina in the second quarter.

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In a tour of the bus for Businesshala, company president Avinash Rugubur highlighted the fact that, because the batteries are in the floor – some electric buses have them in the ceiling – the bus has a skylight running the length of the vehicle. The bus is also below ground for easy passenger access.

The company uses lightweight but durable plastic composite body panels instead of steel or aluminum for lower production costs.

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Arrival’s system monitors each vehicle component in real time and can upgrade the software associated with any of them wirelessly, Ragubur said.

“Knowing and understanding how the vehicle is operating in real time and being able to optimize it reduces the cost of your fleet,” he said. “It’s an all in one bus that is cheaper than any other electric bus and is competitive with diesel.”

Depending on the market, electric buses can cost up to 50% more than the diesel equivalent.

Pre-arrival prototype buses are being tested with First Bus (FGP.L), one of the UK’s largest bus operators.

Arrivals says that about 12% of the 64,000 vehicles currently have non-binding orders or letters of intent for the bus. Its South Carolina plant should have an annual production capacity of 10,000 units and officials say they will announce more plants soon.

The electric bus market is heating up as countries, states and cities move towards zero-emissions transportation.

Companies such as California startup Proterra Inc. (PTRA.O) are competing with China’s BYD Co Ltd (002594.SZ), or Volvo AB (VOLVb.ST). Switch Mobility, a British arm of commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland Ltd (ASOK.NS), said this week it will provide 300 electric buses to the public transport agency in the Indian city of Bengaluru.

The US Congress has approved just $1 trillion in infrastructure spending which includes $5.25 billion for electric buses by 2026, which would have dwarfed the $130 million the government spent on electric transit bus programs in 2020. Is.

Mike Ableson, Arrival’s head of North American operations, said the funding would help make electric buses more affordable for cash-strapped local officials – but the company’s plan to produce a zero-emissions bus for the same price as a diesel bus. target will change. Anyway the equation.

“Transit agencies won’t have to worry about additional funding, they can simply start buying electric buses instead of diesel buses,” Ableson said.

Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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