Mellor’s next generation of the Orion E electric bus is set to star at The Commercial Vehicle Show

By Rachael Buckley

Mellor, part of Woodall Nicholson’s bus division, is showcasing the latest version of its all electric bus, the Orion E, at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham.

Described by Mellor as the breakthrough all-electric small bus when first launched in 2017, the Orion E is the world’s first completely low floor small bus designed to operate effectively in both the commercial bus market and parallel services, such as welfare and dial-a-ride demand responsive services.

Mellor’s managing director John Randerson said: 

“Over the last 12 months our engineers have tested exciting advancements in electric vehicle technology, specifically concerning battery performance, drivetrains and charging systems.  Successful testing confirmed that the time is now right to uplift the Orion E’s specification to reflect these advancements and to include small improvements suggested by operators who have learnt from real experiences working with the Orion E in diverse operational and geographic environments.” 

Under the bonnet, the all-new 96Kw 6 phase motor is technologically advanced to deliver a peak torque value of 5000Nm to the front wheel drive system which has improved hill climbing capability to 25% at up to 5000 Kgs GVW.  Two independent strings of batteries can be combined to deliver 92 kWh of energy providing the fully occupied 16 passenger bus with a design range that exceeds 100 miles between charges even when utilising the inbuilt climate control system. 

John Randerson continued:

“Mellor core values build on the principle that we will deliver customers best-in-class passenger and operator experiences.  As part of The Woodall Nicholson Group, we are committed to delivering flexible passenger transport solutions that meet changing market demands and to investing in product research that leads to innovation and continuous improvements.

“The Orion E embodies these principles by delivering technological advancements to further enhance an already excellent vehicle.  We are confident operators and passengers alike will find much to like and experience with the Orion E.” 

The Orion E is available to order with immediate effect in both left-hand, and right-hand drive versions and will be rolling off the production line in June 2019.