An old Iveco Crossway Euro 6 diesel from 2015 converted to electric by Retrofleet was officially inaugurated on November 16, 2023. Two others will join it for school transport in the Ruban network of the Porte de l’Isère urban community.
Iveco Crossway: Retrofit star
French legislation became more permissive in April 2020 regarding the conversion of gasoline or diesel vehicles to battery or hydrogen fuel cell electric. Several companies now specialize in retrofitting. Because they are likely to be driven for a long time, trucks, buses and coaches are among the most interesting road vehicles to modify.
Homologation procedures are costly, sometimes initially targeting even a single version of a vehicle with a specific kit. This explains why the transformation is more easily profitable with current models. The Iveco Crossway is very widespread in France.
It is particularly present in French workshops for very varied conversions: electric to battery, electric to hydrogen battery, thermal hydrogen and thermal NGV/bioNGV. The Porte de l’Isère (Capi) urban community has chosen Retrofleet’s offer for a battery-electric conversion.
Operational prototype and first production
Bourgoin-Jallieu, Four, L’Isle d’Abeau and La Verpillière are among the 22 municipalities that make up Capi and in which the three electrified coaches operated by Keolis are likely to circulate to pick up the students.
The community communicates on the fact that the copy inaugurated in mid-November would be the “ very first retrofit car in France “. Retrofleet nevertheless delivered an Iveco Crossway to Transdev last June which has already been in school service since September in the Amboise sector (37). We therefore questioned Emmanuel Flahaut on this subject. He is at the head of the company located in Paris but also in Savoie in Saint-Hélène-du-Lac.
« These two coaches are twins. The one delivered to Indre-et-Loire was our prototype. It was he who allowed us to obtain approval last August. The example which has just been inaugurated in Isère is our top series ».
For a range in the field of between 150 and 200 km, the two coaches share a motor with a power of 250 kW powered by a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 192 kWh and guaranteed for 7 years: “ We are designers and producers in France of the batteries that we install, which allows us to gain in agility ».
Convert a fleet for lower costs
Emmanuel Flahaut has fun announcing a special feature of recharging on Iveco Crossways modified by Retrofleet : « Our coaches carry Renault Zoé chargers for 22 kW AC. Which is often surprising, but they are entirely suitable for use. In direct current, the power can increase up to 120 kW ».
Apart from flocking “ Electric, thanks to the retrofit! » in large at the back and “ Let’s ride in trendy mode! “, there is nothing to identify the transformation from the outside. The CCS connector is hidden by the old access hatch to the diesel tank cap. The interior space has been preserved, and the weight of the retrofitted vehicle is very close to that of the original model.
Each of the three coaches that became electric cost Capi around 200,000 euros. Even a new Chinese trendy model like the Yutong ICe 12 is more than double the price. The solution proposed by Retrofleet makes it possible to gradually convert a fleet of coaches with a much lighter budget and a very light carbon impact due to the second life of the coaches. vehicles.
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Soon trucks converted by Retrofleet
The order book is starting to darken at the retrofit specialist: “ We have around ten deliveries to make, most of them before the end of the year. Our retrofitted Iveco Crossways are expected almost everywhere in France. The next ones will go to Marseille, Toulouse, New Aquitaine, Center-Val-de-Loire and Côtes-d’Armor for a service to Mont-Saint-Michel. For next year, we are expecting around a hundred orders ».
Retrofleet is delighted to have been able to obtain approval for its kit for 19 tonne heavy goods vehicles: “ Thanks to it, we will make it possible to decarbonize mobility at a lower cost. Retrofit is a market in its own right. With our 19 ton kit, we will now tackle the transport of goods “. Note that the government is tending to ease regulations in order to boost the conversion of thermal vehicles in France to run them on alternative energies.
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