Available in 30-foot and 35-foot models, the Equess CHARGE builds on ARBOC’s Equess transit bus...

Available in 30-foot and 35-foot models, the Equess CHARGE builds on ARBOC’s Equess transit bus platform and New Flyer’s EV technology.


ARBOC Specialty Vehicles (ARBOC) has unveiled its first fully accessible battery-electric, low-floor bus: the Equess CHARGE.

Available in 30-foot and 35-foot models, the Equess CHARGE builds on ARBOC’s Equess transit bus platform, and utilizes the in-field electric vehicle technology from New Flyer of America. The Equess CHARGE offers battery technology made in the U.S. by XALT, SIEMENS electric motors with efficient regenerative energy recovery, and charging infrastructure compliant with industry standards.

“Providing innovative transit solutions for over 90 years, NFI is leading the zero-emission evolution with over 1,900 electric buses on the road in the United States and Canada,” said Doug Minix, ARBOC’s GM. “Today, we expand NFI’s comprehensive suite of sustainable transportation solutions with our Equess CHARGE.”

With no steps throughout the bus, a spacious 39-inch entrance door opening, and a superior entry ramp ratio for passengers with mobility assist devices, the Equess platform offers an enhanced level of accessibility. The Equess CHARGE features a carrying capacity of up to 33 seated passengers and six wheelchair passengers, all accomplished by optimized battery placement on the roof of the vehicle and in a rear compartment. Extended range configurations allow for up to 437 kWh battery capacity with anticipated transit ranges of approximately 230 miles on a single charge.

The Equess CHARGE will feature the SIEMENS ELFA 3 direct drive motor and a roof-mounted energy storage system compromised of four to five strings of batteries (dependent on bus length), with each string housed in an IP67 (weather tight) enclosure. The Equess CHARGE also includes a roof-mounted battery thermal management system, SIEMENS inverter rack assemblies (with 702 volts primary and 460 volts secondary), Parker Vansco electric controls and multiplexing, and will be compatible with a depot charger with a common CCS Type 1 plug.

The Equess CHARGE prototype is complete, and manufacturing of the 35-foot model will commence in early 2021. The first production bus will then undergo testing through the Federal Transit Administration’s Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 2021, with production for distribution anticipated for Q4 of 2021. The Equess CHARGE will be distributed exclusively by Creative Bus Sales in the U.S., and by Dynamic Specialty Vehicles, Crestline Coach, and Creative Carriage in Canada.