ZEVRAS scheme opens to retrofit approvals

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With the transition to a fully zero-emission bus fleet looking likely to extend beyond 2040, retrofitting existing vehicles with a zero-emission driveline is increasingly seen as one option to accelerate the move. To ensure these zero emission repowers meet high standards, the Zemo Partnership was commissioned by the Department for Transport to develop the Zero Emission Vehicle Repower Accreditation Scheme (ZEVRAS) for buses and coaches to provide government and industry with confidence in the solution.

The scheme is now open to product and company approvals. The technical requirements of ZEVRAS have been designed around the initial requirement for a scheme applicable to M2 and M3 vehicles (buses, minibuses and coaches). However, it has been designed in a manner to allow its applicability to be expanded to additional vehicle categories in future. ZEVRAS – which is administered by Energy Saving Trust with technical support from Zemo Partnership – has been designed to ensure that manufacturers of zero-emission repower systems are approved through the scheme before the repowering equipment they produce can be added to the list of approved solutions, which Zemo says will help operators to get a higher standard of repower conversion, including an energy efficiency test, battery safety testing and zero emission heating requirement.

The ZEVRAS register will contain approved companies and associated zero-emission products based on vehicle make and model. Manufacturers must be approved by ZEVRAS before they can be added to the list of approved devices available to vehicle and clean air zone scheme operators. Manufacturers need to have quality management systems (such as ISO 9001), adequate insurance cover, and comprehensive warranty provision to receive approval. The new ZEVRAS extends the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS), which enabled a range of emission abatement technologies to cut emissions on existing vehicles.