Electromobility has brought new players capable of developing integral buses of these new technologies from scratch, seeking more control of the business and facilitating after-sales for operators. Busscar de Colombia, with 20 years of activities, has captured this and after a development process that dates back to 2019, it presented its first bus with a chassis and body developed entirely in its facilities: the Optimus E-Pluss Integral.
The process was born with the tenders that renewed the fleet of articulated buses for Transmilenio in Bogotá, whose award was made at the end of 2018, where the novelty was the participation of some proposals that included electric vehicles. Busscar Design Industrial - BDI, led this strategic project, and defined the new vehicle, which will strengthen the manufacturer's progress in international markets and its future aligned with the zero emissions vision.
Optimuss is the Busscar family of minibuses and midibuses that reached the market at the end of 2016, with a large presence in the Colombian mass systems. The front has its characteristic round 100% LED headlights, a large one-piece front lens that protects the electronic router and also circular position lights located in the upper hood remain unchanged.
The rear is also the same as that we have seen in the electric Optimuss that are beginning to take to the streets of Bogotá, which combines round taillights with trapezoidal elements such as the rear glass that includes a router and the backlit "Busscar Electric" logo. The two-piece lower bumper houses the license plate, reversing sensors and reflectors.
The sides do differ from what is customary in the Optimuss family: larger windows, taking into account that this integral electric bus has a completely low floor, and they increase the interior light. A custody-type side glass accompanies the passenger access door.
In the passenger lounge, cheerful, green and blue tones of the seats match the brown floor. Retaining mechanisms for everyone, access for people in wheelchairs through the rear door via a manual ramp make it easy to board and circulate. The complement are the USB charging ports and the large information screen.
Why a 9 meter midibus?
Seeing that several of the chassis manufacturers with whom Busscar had worked hand in hand in previous projects did not have a medium electric bus platform, the need arose to develop a vehicle of this type that was very well configured to fill the gap that they were leaving. the builders on the 9 meter buses.
It was also analyzed what the behavior of the replacement of bus fleets would be in many Latin American cities, where there is a significant need to replace midibuses with conventional diesel technologies for zero emissions.
This new generation of 9-meter urban vehicles must go from high-floor chassis and platforms derived from truck models to buses with a low entrance with high accessibility, pneumatic suspensions and, most importantly, developments conceived from the beginning as buses and configurable to the measure of the urban routes in which they will roll. Busscar's first Optimuss e-Pluss has been configured to transport up to 50 seated and standing passengers with its 9 meter length. Although this length can vary according to the operator's hourly/direction mobilization needs, to have capacities from 40 to 60 occupants, lengthening or shortening it slightly, without losing that midibus characteristic, with a wheelbase of 4,500 mm.
Made with the best brands
A mobility solution such as Busscar's Optimuss e-Pluss integral electric bus implies being responsible with the components and including the best on the market. Starting with powertrain supplied by Siemens; CATL batteries (main manufacturer worldwide), Wabco disc brakes on 4 corners, DANA pneumatic suspensions and axles, Bosch steering and Cling air conditioning for cities that require this added comfort.
These electric buses are built to measure considering variables such as altitude, stops, whether it needs air conditioning or not, traffic and routes to be taken, which condition their autonomy. Therefore, the Optimuss e-Pluss Integral can receive up to 8 battery packs, with an individual charging capacity of 35Kwh. Operators can order their vehicles with a minimum of 4 battery packs.
To recharge the batteries, times can take between 80 and 120 minutes, depending on the power that the connectors have. To optimize this task, Busscar suggests equipment between 150Kw and 200Kw of power combined with a type 2 European standard charger. For now, the issue of charging infrastructure will be in charge of allied energy distributors.