Now approved by Stellantis, Bedeo has been converting diesel vans to electric for years. Circulating in particular in the United Kingdom where the company is based, but also in France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy, all of the examples retrofitted by it have traveled more than 60 million kilometers.
Have you ever heard of l’entreprise Bedeo ? Now domiciled in Farnham in the United Kingdom, it was created in Turkey in 2009 by Osman Boyner under its former name BD Auto. You may be more familiar with the company Protean, which we have mentioned on various occasions for its in-wheel motors. Its parent company National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), owner of the Saab group since 2012 and which became inactive last year, sold it to Bedeo.
The latter was already using this technology to convert the Peugeot Boxer, Citroën Jumper, Opel/Vauxhall Movano, and Fiat Ducato to electric power, before soon tackling, according to the announcement made on the company’s website, Renault Master and Mercedes Sprinter. Note that all these models are available new in electric versions in the manufacturers’ networks.
Vans aren’t the only thing that can be converted. Bedeo also offers retrofit on minibus versions and all chassis-cab variants. Thus utility vehicles with tipper, transport box, refrigeration, but also motorhomes. Thanks to this, it is possible to give new life to a sometimes custom-equipped model.
Two “Reborn Electric” architectures are offered. In addition to a 100% battery-electric engine, there is a range extender version. As standard, they all have a 7 kW AC charger and are compatible with DC terminals up to a power of 50 kW. It’s not too difficult to remember the last name of the models converted to 100% electric. It is ” BE ”, which can be easily memorized with “ Battery Electric ».
The entire appellation incorporates as much autonomy as one might hope for. The range of action is thus estimated at 117, 248 and 364 km for the BE-100, BE-250 and BE-350 models which respectively carry between their two axles a battery with an energy capacity of 37, 75 and 110 kWh .
All versions receive an electric motor in each of their rear wheels. Compact and lightweight, the device allows you to retain the original suspension. Vehicles converted without changing ground clearance or loading volume thus become powered utility vehicles, whereas previously the diesel unit activated the front axle.
The recent range extender version is even more original. Only one model is offered, the RE-100. “ RE “, it’s for ” Range Extender ”, you may have guessed it. It is therefore equipped with the 37 kWh battery for 117 km of autonomy in EV mode, to which are added 500 or 600 km using the original diesel unit, most often Euro 6.
The RE-100 inherits propulsion-type traction when it draws its energy from the lithium pack, but returns to traction when it burns diesel. No four-wheel drive operation, and battery regeneration only when driving with the electric motor. The transformation may appear a little curious or incomplete, but it finds its justification in the need to limit the cost of the operation.
This architecture makes it possible to have a versatile utility vehicle, capable of both swallowing hundreds of kilometers on the highway and entering certain restricted traffic zones in city centers, in particular ZFEs. The system developed by Bedeo requires EV operation in the latter, except in emergency cases. Elsewhere, the driver can choose the engine that powers the machine.
An already full client portfolio
With the consent given by Stellantis after a first observation reconciliation dating from 2019, Bedeo intends to further attract companies which have more or less large fleets of large utility vehicles of 3.5 to 4.5 tonnes. Its customers include DHL, DPD, Ocado, Migros, Aras-Kargo and TNT/Fedex, which already operate vehicles converted in this way. Its portfolio includes around forty major names in logistics, e-commerce and waste management.
The Farnham company strives to develop its solutions and the elements that compose them as much as possible. Protean absorption is an example of this desire. Bedeo also has its own inverters, cabling and batteries. Based on research and development work carried out in the United Kingdom, the in-house elements are manufactured in Turkey or China.
« Reaching 60 million kilometers is a testament to the reliability and robustness of our electronic technologies and solutions, manufactured and owned in-house. Our commitment to sustainable mobility drives us to continually innovate », commente Osman Boyner.
The Land Rover Defender too
Bedeo is also present in the maritime and aeronautics markets. The company is also seeking to position itself in the conversion of iconic vehicles. The Land Rover Defender, for example, has already been retrofitted with the same in-wheel motors.
Coincidence or not, Thierry Bolloré joined Bedeo’s advisory board last November as a strategic advisor. Previously, he was in charge of Jaguar Land Rover. It was after his time among the leaders of Renault following the departure of Carlos Tavares who then became the boss of Stellantis.
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