18 Oct 2019


Hall 2, booth 224

“I see electric buses” is a consortium of six companies, experienced in the electrification of commercial vehicles. Now it has converted a MAN diesel bus into an all-electric bus just within 12 weeks. But at I See they believe they can do it within one week. At Busworld there is the possibility to drive this converted MAN bus.

For bus operators, replacing the upholstery in public service buses is almost an everyday task”, says Andreas Pfeffer, Managing Director of “I see electric busses”. “However, after 10 years the engine and transmission have had their day.” Pfeffer gives these old buses a new lease of life. The experts at "I see electric busses" spent 12 weeks dismantling and analysing a MAN bus and then drove it back out of the workshop as an all-electric bus. “Once the engine and powertrain are removed, the interplay between the electronics in the vehicle has to be reorganized,” says Pfeffer. “I see” has already converted electric transport vehicles in the 3.0t and 3.5t (4.25t) range and is now entering the retrofit business for public service buses. “To date, we have returned around 400 electrified vehicles to the road." He relies on the ZAwheel from Ziehl-Abegg, an in wheel hub drive that doesn’t require any gearing because the ZAwheel motor, output 240kW, fits completely inside the hub. The state of Schleswig-Holstein provided financial support for the retrofitting of the first MAN public service bus. The partner for the implementation of this programme within the fleet is Autokraft/DB Regio. “There is the potential for retrofitting several thousand vehicles ," says Pfeffer happily.

A 12 week development period for a prototype was already ambitious, but Pfeffer believes the rebuilding can be done within one week. Only components from market-leading suppliers were used: Webasto, Ziehl-Abegg and Moteg, with Webasto supplying the battery. The battery control unit ensures that every single cell continues to perform at the same level even after 10 years. Thanks to the absence of drive train and gearbox, the in wheel hub drive is ultra-low maintenance and highly efficient. This means that the size of the battery pack (210 kWh) could be reduced compared to a central drive. The auxiliary units, specially developed for battery-powered electric vehicles, are supplied by Moteg.

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