Arrival, a British electric van and bus manufacturer, showed a new prototype of an electric bus on Thursday, which it aims to start constructing from next year onwards and sell for approximately the same price as a traditional diesel bus.
The pre-production bus will hit the roads in the coming weeks, and series manufacturing will begin in the second quarter at a plant in state of South Carolina in the United States.
The president of the company, Avinash Rugoobur pointed out that the bus has a skylight running the length of the vehicle since the batteries are on the floor, rather than the roof, as some electric buses do. The bus is also low to the ground, making it easy for passengers to board.
To cut costs, the business uses lightweight yet robust plastic composite body panels instead of steel or aluminium.
According to Rugoobur, Arrival’s technology analyses every vehicle component in real time and can wirelessly upgrade the software connected with any of them.
‘Knowing and understanding how the vehicle is operating in real time and being able to optimise that saves your fleet expenditures even more,’ he said. ‘All of this in a bus that is less expensive than any other electric bus on the market and on par with diesel.’
Electric buses might cost up to 50 percent more than a diesel equivalent, depending on the market.
First Bus, one of the leading bus operators in the United Kingdom, has previously been testing Arrival’s early prototype buses.
As countries, states, and cities strive for zero-emission transportation, the electric bus market is heating up.