Retrofitting

used commercial

vehicles

Retrofitting

used commercial

vehicles

We can give your used commercial vehicle an environmentally friendly second life as an electric vehicle thanks to our award-winning, production-ready retrofitting concept.

The innovative etrofit kits for buses and trucks enable the most sustainable form of mobility in passenger and freight transportation – both from an ecological as well as a commercial perspective.

Advantages

Quality:

With its electrification kits, pepper delivers high-quality production vehicles meeting the most stringent standards of the international automotive industry for functional safety.

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  • High quality over the entire life cycle through established German component suppliers
  • Benefit of existing and reliable partnerships: ZF Service & Aftermarket
  • Fast availability and rolling retrofits during operation
  • Risk minimization through optional service & warranty period extension

Costs and Subsidies:

pepper currently offers the most cost-effective mobility solution for achieving the Clean Vehicles Directive, which came into force in August 2021. Electrification of existing vehicles offers the lowest cost over the product life cycle compared to diesel or new electric vehicles. This gives fleet operators an important tool for achieving a zero-emission vehicle fleet.
The transition to electromobility is supported by the federal government’s new subsidy guidelines, which put converted vehicles on an equal footing with new vehicles. Comparable funding programs for alternative drive systems and the electrification of existing vehicles are anticipated throughout Europe to accelerate the switch to low-emission mobility.

Sustainability:

The use of existing resources and modernization by means of our innovative etrofit kits make converted pepper buses and trucks the most sustainable and energy-efficient vehicles in their class.

Availability:

While manufacturers of e-buses and e-trucks face considerable delivery delays, pepper is able to deliver high volumes in the required quality at short notice. Depending on the product, you will receive your electrified vehicle within approx. 5 months from your order.

Project Sequence

The Process Phases of the Conversion

1. Analysis

Analysis of the vehicles to be converted for technical characteristics, TÜV inspection reports, analysis of subsequent requirements such as route lengths, route profiles, round-trip times, charging points, etc.

2. Planning

Detailed specification in terms of range, battery capacity, drivetrain, air-conditioning, and optional charging concept

3. Conversion

Conversion and commissioning of the vehicle in a partner workshop including TÜV vehicle approval

4. Operation

Support and advice during recommissioning with awareness training for workshop staff and planning of the necessary charging infrastructure

Technology &
Components

The rapid pace of development and the modular vehicle concepts allow pepper to design electric drive systems for all market-relevant vehicle models at short notice – always featuring the latest digital services and up-to-date battery technology – always state-of-the-art. At the heart of this is always pepper’s own vehicle control unit (VCU), a system software architecture for controlling the entire vehicle reliably.

Quality & Safety

Quality standards met by our etrofit kit:

  • TÜV certification. The kit undergoes TÜV certification, which guarantees the customer that it complies with European standards.
  • All components satisfy the relevant norms and standards (e.g., ISO 6722-1, ECE R100, ECE R10, VDV230)
  • Regular internal quality audits as well as audits of all component suppliers
  • ISO 26262-compliant development: functional safety & testing of system and components
  • Regular maintenance during normal operation
  • Selected suppliers with high quality standards and over ten years of experience in the field of commercial vehicles and refurbishment work
  • Work performed in accordance with ISO 9001 quality management
  • pepper complies with international standards ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety, ISO 14001 Environmental Management, and ISO 50001 Energy Management

It also meets all the minimum standards for converting commercial vehicles to alternative drive systems that are required in the criteria catalog of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure’s conversion task force:

Link to criteria catalog (in German)

We have been converting existing diesel buses to electric propulsion with the etrofit kit since 2018. pepper provides the conversion service including all necessary components and complete regular certification for road traffic according to the previous mode of operation of the urban bus. pepper will also be electrifying other models such as coaches and articulated buses based on the etrofit concept in the future.

NUMBERS / DATA / FACTS

Conversion solution available for the following bus models:

Mercedes-Benz Citaro 1 12m
Mercedes-Benz Citaro 2 12m
Available soon:  MAN A21

Duration of conversion:

6-8 weeks, depending on the condition of the vehicle and any necessary repair work

Range and route planning:

urban buses in Germany travel an average of 180-200 km per shift. With a range of around 250 km, a retrofitted pepper bus can therefore easily replace a diesel-powered urban bus. There is no need to invest time and money in re-planning routes.

Availability:

5 months after order

Please ask us about other vehicle models.

We can convert existing trucks to electric drive with the etrofit truck kit. pepper provides the conversion service including all necessary components and complete regular certification for road traffic according to the previous type of use of the truck.

NUMBERS / DATA / FACTS

Conversion solution available for the following truck models:

Mercedes-Benz Actros MP3-MP5
Available soon:  Mercedes-Benz Atego

Duration of conversion:

approx. 6-8 weeks, depending on the condition of the vehicle and any necessary repair work

Availability:

approx. 5 months after receipt of order
Please ask us about other vehicle models.

FAQ on Retrofit

How long does the conversion take and how is it done?

The etrofit conversion takes place in two phases:

1. Analysis phase First, the vehicles to be retrofitted undergo a technical check to determine whether they have special technical features. In addition, the conditions under which the vehicle will be used later are analysed (route lengths, route profiles, circulation times, loading points, etc.).

Based on this, the exact design in terms of range, battery capacity and some other characteristics is determined. Depending on the effort involved, this analysis phase takes approx. 3-6 months.

2. Retrofitting The vehicle is brought to one of the partner workshops for the actual conversion. The conversion takes approx. 6 weeks (assuming availability of all components).

What is the operating range of an etrofit bus?

Battery capacity and range of each bus are individually adapted to the operator’s requirements. For public transport operation, ranges of 200-250km are usually sufficient and feasible.

Which components will be replaced during the conversion?

Powertrain and battery Diesel engine, gearbox and drive axle are removed and an electric drive axle is installed. For city buses, we use an electric low-floor portal axle by ZF (AVE130). This axle relies on the concept of the integrated close-to-the-wheel drive with two liquid-cooled asynchronous motors.The battery modules are installed in the former engine compartment (additional capacity can be installed on the roof, if necessary).

Ancillary units All auxiliary components previously driven by the combustion engine (such as air conditioning, air compressor, pumps etc.) are removed and replaced by electrically powered components. An efficient control system, which takes over the interaction of these components, guarantees the most energy-efficient operation possible.

Driver’s position An additional display is installed at the driver’s seat, which provides the driver with information on the vehicle status, charge status and any errors.

Which power train technology is used?

In city buses, we use the AxTrax Ave electric portal axle from ZF: Each wheel is powered by a compact, high-speed, liquid-cooled asynchronous motor, which keeps the axle weight low. The maximum motor output is 250 kilowatts and a maximum torque of 22,000 Newton meters.

No separate engine or cardan shaft is required, reducing space requirements and vehicle weight. The resulting space can be used to install a more powerful battery or optimize the vehicle interior to carry more passengers. The AxTrax Ave does not require any special wheel components. This means that the tire-rim combinations used in conventional buses can also be used, as well as standard disc brakes. The brakes are installed in the same maintenance-friendly position as with the standard axles.

Which battery technology is used?

pepper has developed a modular battery module based on lithium-ion batteries (NMC). The individual module has a capacity of 60kWh, several of these modules can be connected in parallel to achieve the desired capacity.

Does the retrofitted vehicle have a road registration?

We take over the road approval for you – the retrofitted vehicle will be delivered ready for operation and with road approval.

Where can I get retrofitting and service for the etrofit bus?

pepper has signed a preferred partnership with ZF: ZF not only supplies the powertrain components for e-troFit, but also offers the workshop network for etrofit conversions.

By partnering with ZF, we can ensure sufficient workshop capacity and carry out retrofits in ZF’s local workshops. Since retrofitting poses a major challenge in terms of technical know-how, the workshops are carefully inspected and selected accordingly. In addition, the worldwide service network of the ZF Group is available to ensure optimal and customer-oriented maintenance of the conversion kit.