BMW ENTERS ELECTRIC BUS MARKET
AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURER BMW – through its BMW i brand – has formally entered into the world of public transport and bus production via Turkish manufacturer Karsan, which launched its new Jest e-bus using i3 running gear, it’s announced recently.
Karsan delivered its first customer orders of the Jest Electric bus in December, 2018.
With the BMW Group’s i division representing the company’s, “networked mobility services, visionary vehicle concepts and a new premium philosophy that draws strongly on the idea of sustainability,” its foray into public transport is another field for its “pioneering emissions-free drive technologies”, it states.
The Karsan Jest electric bus – the first product of the unique collaboration with BMW – is designed specifically for use in inner-city traffic using the electric motors and high-voltage batteries developed for the BMW i3.
Karsan CEO Okan Bas stated that they try to find the necessities of the cities and produce specific solutions for each.
He said: “We develop our products by closely following the innovations in electric vehicle technology. We are proud to serve in 20 different countries in the world with our innovative product solutions to leave a better world to the next generations.”
“With our innovative brand DNA and our mission to produce sustainable solutions, we will continue to work on battery electric vehicles and develop our product range in this direction.”
With the agreement between the BMW Group and Karsan signed, the Jest Electric bus, which is produced in Bursa, Turkey, for both domestic and international markets, will “enable public transportation network operators to provide their passengers with comfortable and locally emissionsfree travel on inner-city roads,” says BMW.
ON THE BUSES
The electric motors and high-voltage batteries developed independently by the BMW Group are characterised by excellent performance qualities and a high degree of reliability, it states.
They are produced at the BMW plant in Dingolfing, southern Bavaria. The BMW i3 electric synchronous motor powering the Karsan Jest Electric generates a peak output of 125kW/170hp and a maximum 250Nm (290Nm, collaborating with a single-ratio gearbox, says Karsan).
The energy required is supplied by a lithium-ion battery, whose compact dimensions and low weight make it perfect for a range of applications, says BMW.
The high-voltage battery consists of eight modules comprising 12 cells each and provides a capacity of up to 44 kilowatt-hours (kWh). With a combination of two high-voltage batteries, pre-series prototypes of the Karsan Jest electric achieved a capacity of 88kWh and, therefore, a range of 210 kilometres, it’s claimed.
When used on scheduled services, this means a city bus can run for 18 hours on end without an interim stop to refresh its energy supplies, according to the German car maker. Additionally, the compact size of the electric motor and high-voltage battery are advantageous in terms of interior space, it adds.
Measuring some six metres in length, the Karsan Jest electric offers room for up to 26 passengers – four more than the previous conventionally powered version of the model. The city bus is fitted with low-floor technology, which gives passengers with pushchairs and wheelchairs convenient access, it states.
Bas indicated that they received the first orders in a short time for Jest Electric.
“We will be delivering Jest Electric pre orders from Romania, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and France soon. European countries show great interest for Jest Electric, which is different from its competitors with its original size and technology. In addition we had the opportunity to exhibit our 8.1-metre long Atak Electric prototype [57 passenger capacity], which is developed by our R&D team with support from the BMW Group, at IAA … and our Positive Energy Experience event.”
“We plan to start mass production of the Atak Electric next year, which can be charged in just 2-5 hours and offers a range up to 300km,” he added.
“A city bus can run for 18 hours on end without an interim stop to refresh its energy supplies.”
The Karsan Jest electric bus is the first product of the unique collaboration with BMW, which made its debut at the recent 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany.