From boilers to electric buses

RAFAKO is a world-known producer of electric boilers and installations for power plants, power and heating plants as well as incineration facilities. However, the path from energy to electricity is only a small step, the company plans reveal.

RAFAKO is a dynamically developing corporation and it is starting to turn to modern and pro-ecology solutions, seeking new development directions, largely related to the energy sector.

The company has never been involved in the automotive market, but a few years ago it started to be interested in electromobility. The conclusions it drew, urged RAFAKO’s Management Board to establish a unit, and afterwards the whole team dedicated to work on an electric bus project.

The team has been operated for two years now and it is made up of IT, electronic and mechanical engineers, boasting rich automotive and transportation experience. The team has carried out an in-depth analysis of the bus industry and started cooperation with design and R&D companies, as well as key automotive manufacturers.

“The history of business reveals that such turns are nothing new. Nokia Corporation, a telecom giant, was established as a result of a merger of a paper factory, a rubber production plant and a cable manufacturer”, says Michał Maćkowiak, RAFAKO’s electric bus project leader.

The company’s interested in electric buses results primarily from the growing demand for such a product and the recently observed growing dynamics of this market, both as regards the market demand and technical solutions. There are many manufacturers but the demand is even greater. Both the current leaders and other participants, including RAFAKO, will have an opportunity to grow on this wave of popularity, while winning the first contracts and references is of key importance now.

The company is monitoring and analysing demand of this new, dynamically growing market and is continuously making contacts with municipalities regarding potential cooperation on market requirements and bus testing, which resulted in signed letters of intent with some of the municipalities.

“ Our project has multiple strengths, the major of which is that it is created completely from scratch and is not just an adaptation of a traditional diesel-run model converted into an electric vehicle. This is why our solution takes into account all the needs characteristic of an electric engine and implements the latest world trends, which will make our new vehicles able to address demanding technical challenges and fulfil customers’ requirements”, comments Michał Maćkowiak.

The Rafako bus design was presented at this year’s COP24 Climate Summit in Katowice. It will be offered in two versions with two battery capacities:

  • 61 kWh – a model for the cities (LTO)
  • 144 kWh – a model designed for suburban transport and schools.

The maximum range of the electric bus is to be 70 and 140 kilometres, respectively[1].

The design uses KOMEL engines and battery packages designed by EleDriveco. According to a new concept, all the batteries are to be installed below the underbody.

The official premiere is scheduled for 19 December 2018 in Racibórz.

[1]   https://elektrowoz.pl/transport/rafako-e-bus-elektryczny-autobus-lidera-w-produkcji-kotlow-dla-mnie-hit/