Arrival Uncovers Pre-Production Electric Bus Prototype That Competes With Diesel Bus Costs


England’s leading electric bus and van makers, Arrivals, on Thursday released the prototype of their pre-production electric bus. The company is seeking to begin its production from next year.

Avinash Rugoobur, while on the tour of the bus with Reuters, brings out some of the highlighting features of the bus and points out that, since the batteries are placed inside the floor, while some other buses have them on the roof, the bus is equipped with a skylight running its length. 

The body of the bus is composed of durable but lightweight plastic, replacing the use of heavy metals like steel or aluminium, which leads to a decrease in the production cost, and brings it near to the diesel bus valuation. 

Electric buses might cost up to 50% more than diesel alternatives, depending on the market. An earlier prototype of buses from Arrival is already hitting trials with First Bus, one of the UK’s leading bus operators.

Adding more to the features of the bus, Rugoobur stated that each and every component of the bus is being monitored by Arrival’s system in real-time and the software associated with them can be remotely and wirelessly upgraded. 

“Knowing and undergoing how the vehicle is running in real-time and being able to optimise that further reduces your fleet costs”. Rugoobur continued on his statement, saying, “All of this in a bus that is cheaper than other electric buses out there and competitive with diesel.”

Arrival’s confirms that the pre-production bus can be found running on roads from the next week and the manufacturing of the whole series is likely to begin in the second quarter at a plant situated in the U.S. South Carolina state.

The company says that nearly 12% non-binding and letter of intent, out of 64,000 vehicles are for buses.  Arrival’s South Carolina plant is going to have an annual 10,000 units production capacity, and according to its executives more manufacturing plants will be coming up soon.

The world is foreseeing the introduction of more electric vehicles in the market, and Ashok Leylands take on providing 300 electric buses to Bengulur’s public transport agency, is suggesting the same.

Arrival’s North American operation head, Mike Ableson, said that although financing would help make electric buses cheaper for cash-strapped local governments, the company’s objective of manufacturing a zero-emission bus for the same price as a diesel bus will shift that equation anyway.

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