UNVI starts to build electric sightseeing buses

UNVI starts to build electric sightseeing buses. Zero-emission buses will be required in big cities in the near future.

The Spanish bus builder UNVI has agreed to work together with three component manufacturers to build battery-electric sightseeing buses. This year will see the launch of the first electric, double-decker open-top bus. Environmental regulations in cities are getting tighter now and in the future. Also the life cycle of a sightseeing bus is 2-3 times longer than that of a normal city bus.

That is forcing the operators to switch very rapidly to battery electric vehicles as buses which have already been purchased may no longer be operated on inner-city routes to "the end of their service life". "We will therefore be launching a battery electric sightseeing bus for the BusWorld 2017", says Eloy Perez Martinez, Managing Director of UNVI.

UNVI is seen as the world's largest manufacturer of city sightseeing buses and is known for building customised buses. In Europe, the special vehicles can be seen as part of the urban landscape of Rome, Berlin, Paris and London.

The Spaniards have chosen experienced component manufacturers as partners: BMZ for the batteries, ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE for the drive train and SAV Studio for system integration. "The three companies have already collaborated on several bus projects and are an experienced team," stressed Eloy Perez Martinez of UNVI. This will provide for a smooth and rapid market entry.

In most cases, the batteries on electric buses which operate regular city bus services are mounted on the roof - however, this is not an option with open-top buses. The two gearless, highly efficient and wheel-hub motors of ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE do not require any additional space for the driveline in the vehicle. In combination with the battery system from BMZ-Poland, which is matched to the driving and requirements profile, a high installation flexibility is achieved under the conditions of the very limited installation space of a convertible bus.

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