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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.


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.

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