CUSTOM DENNING ZERO-EMISSION BUS RANGE: MARCH, 2021

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Custom Denning


AN ONLINE animation outlining Custom Denning's new zero-emission bus range – which includes its Element electric bus and forthcoming hydrogen fuel-cell product called the Element H2 – indicates the buses will be available for delivery from March 2021, the company has announced.

CUSTOM DENNING ZERO-EMISSION BUS RANGE: MARCH, 2021
As Custom Denning explains online, the first bus is currently in build and will be on the road in October for testing prior to its trial with selected operators.

According to the Custom Denning video post - launched for World Electric Vehicle Day, 2020, on September 9 - there will be "five initial prototypes" - four battery-electric buses and one hydrogen fuel cell electric bus - "on the road" from November for trial and operation with selected customers.

The slick-looking animation describes the range as "a new beginning" and introduces it to a global online audience via social media.

As the narration describes, the Element is "Australian designed and manufactured for Australian conditions" and features a full low-floor and integral stainless steel frame design with new and exciting technologies.

It continues: "Utilising solid-state batteries, the Element is driven by a two-stage electric motor. During deceleration the bus enters electricity-generation mode, regenerating electricity which can reduce consumption by up to 50 per cent."

"The Element's electric over-hydraulic power steering is dynamic and responsive to the driver's needs."

With air-conditioning being one of the largest consumers of energy on buses, it explains that the Element's main cabin air-conditioning is programmed to automatically sense the temperatures throughout the saloon via "...several motion detectors at the rear, at the centre and at the front of the bus."

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BATTERY MANAGEMENT

"The fast-acting plug-slide centre door deactivates the blower fans whenever opened, and with improved sealing capabilities reduces the loss of conditioned air from the passenger cabin," it adds.

"The Element's intelligent battery management system monitors all main and auxiliary components at all times. The intelligent battery management system offers optimised operation with reduced power consumption and improved efficiencies, allowing for increase in operating range," Custom Denning states.

Also, the CAN network allows the driver to monitor usage via the LCD dash display. The on-board telematics simultaneously broadcasts real-time CAN data and information back to the operating base, thus allowing operators to monitor the vehicle status at all times, says Custom Denning.

"The bus is fitted with Advanced Driver Assist System – ADAS. This enables protection for the following: collision warning and lane-departure warning, and pedestrian warning – which "...sounds an alarm inside the driver's cabin and vibrates the seat to ensure the drivers is pre-warned about any possible collisions with the pedestrians."

In terms of charging, the bus can be placed on charge whenever at the depot including between duties or overnight, it says.

"When the bus is ready for its next service the bus can be left on charge, air-conditioning and air compressor started, which enables the bus to obtain the correct operating conditions, which will increase battery capacity throughout the day," the company explains.

Full production will see deliveries of Element and Element H2 available to customers from March, 2021, Custom Denning confirms.

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STATE OF PLAY

As Custom Denning explains online, the first bus is currently in build and will be on the road in October for testing prior to its trial with selected operators. The first Element H2 - the hydrogen fuel-cell model - will begin production in October for December testing and trials, it says.

"The company aims to create a demand for zero-emission buses throughout Australasia that in turn will enhance skills in advanced manufacturing and bring jobs back to Australia," it stated on its Linkedin page, recently.

"These buses offer competitive pricing against foreign imports whilst offering other economic benefits of local manufacturing, lower operating costs and health benefits over traditional fossil fuel buses," it added.

To view the video, click here.

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