ST Engineering (Land Systems), in cooperation with Finnish electric bus manufacturer Linkker, is undertaking a project to refit an existing MAN NL323F bus into an electric bus.
Information with regards to this modification project is scarce, but ST Engineering’s 2017 Annual Report revealed that the company was awarded an LTA tender to retrofit a single-deck electric MAN bus as a proof-of-concept. The tender is believed to be a closed tender, with LTA not making any references to the tender within its annual reports published in that period.
At the same time, ST Engineering is working with Linkker to bring its electric bus technologies into the Singapore market.
The bus selected for retrofitting was SMB3075A, a Euro V MAN NL323F bus (Chassis no.: WMAA22ZZXD7001880) bodied with the MAN Lion’s City Hybrid bodywork assembled by Gemilang Coachworks. First registered to SMRT Buses on 2 September 2013, it was removed from revenue service from February 2018 and laid up, which indicated that the bus would be taken out of service for a prolonged period of time (during which it is exempted from road tax). It bore SMRT’s beige livery at launch before being repainted to SMRT’s pixel livery.
In June 2018, PLG Logistics featured the transportation of the bus from Singapore to Turku (Finland), on their website, as an example of logistics undertaken by the company.
Coincidentally, Linkker buses are also operating in the port city of Turku, but the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility are located elsewhere in Finland.
It is believed that the MAN NL323F will undergo modification works in Finland and retrofitted with Linkker’s own electric drivetrain. Apart from selling whole buses, Linkker also manufacturers retrofit kits for other bus bodies, which manly consists of the electric drivetrain and other peripheral equipment.
ST Engineering (Land Systems) is currently an authorised distributor of Linkker right-hand drive electric buses in the Asia-Pacific region, with a partnership inked in 2017 and Linkker cited as an “Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)”.
Apart from this project, ST Engineering (Land Systems) is also working with Linkker on various projects such as the STE-Linkker Autonomous Electric Bus, and the fulfilment of 20 single-deck electric buses procured by LTA expected for delivery in 2019. The company was one of three successful tenderers, the others being BYD and Yutong, who will deliver a combined 60 electric buses between 2019 and 2020.
External Links & References:
- ST Bus project Ex Singapore to Turku, Finland – PLG
- Linkker – business from Finnish electric bus competences [PDF]
- Engineering Your Future – ST Engineering Annual Report 2017 [PDF]