Mellor electric minibus launch at Commercial Vehicle show

Mellor Coachcraft is launching what it claims is the world’s first low-floor electric minibus at the CV Show on 25-27 April. Mellor will be showing its Orion E, a full-electric 16-seat bus which has taken two years to develop. The Orion E has single-step entry and a completely flat, low-floor saloon which offers flexible seating configuration and space for up to four wheelchairs with passenger access through either a rapid sliding side entry door, or the double doors at the rear.

The vehicle achieves its layout by having an electric front-wheel drive system, allowing Mellor the freedom to develop the passenger area without the intrusion of a prop-shaft and rear differential. The vehicle is fitted with independent trailing arm suspension which helps to provide a large floor space that can be configured to suit customer needs.

The British coachbuilder, part of the Woodall Nicholson Group, has partnered with a European electric vehicle integrator and drive train manufacturer to co-develop the electrical system and driveline. Power electronics are provided by global electric vehicle component suppliers. Mellor estimates a 100-mile range and a re-charging time of around 100 minutes, using lithium-ion battery packs.

The first Orion E will be displayed on the Eberspächer stand (5F80) at the CV Show and the Rochdale-based company expects to deliver the first vehicles by the end of 2017.