A hardware or software upgrade therefore makes no sense here. Nevertheless, many older vehicles are still in use in public transport. Since a complete replacement of the vehicle fleet is neither economical nor sustainable, more and more concepts such as "retrofitting", i.e. the subsequent renewal of the drive train or the retrofitting of an electric drive train, are coming to the fore.
The challenge in retrofitting an electric drive for buses is not only the available space for integrating the battery, drive and auxiliary units, but above all the variance of the derivatives and the large number of different bus makes. In addition, there are country-specific requirements for heating and cooling, which drive up the number of variants.
Providers of a "complete package" will dominate the market.
Thus it is essential for original manufacturers as well as for fleet owners or transport companies to have the right partner for the delivery of the "complete package". Although there are currently some suppliers for battery systems, battery management systems (BMS) and electric motors, there is almost nobody who acts as general contractor and is responsible for the complete subsequent electrification.
The retrofitting concept also poses special challenges for after sales. Both the electric motor, the auxiliary units and above all the battery will put the service and maintenance network to the test. In addition, the original bus manufacturer will have to meet a wide range of service and parts requirements. Here, too, a complete solution is the true USP for future retrofitting suppliers.