Describe what Bedeo does?
Bedeo - formerly known as BD Auto – is an electric vehicle supplier and manufacturer of drivetrain solutions based in Farnham. Vehicles manufactured by Bedeo have driven more than 50 million kilometres across Europe including UK, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy. Bedeo began offering its range of electric vans in the UK in 2017, and began working with UK supermarket Ocado the following year. In 2019 Groupe PSA – now Stellantis, the third largest automotive manufacturer in the world comprising Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Vauxhall and Fiat Chrysler – announced it would be supplying and installing Bedeo electric drivetrain solutions to a selection of its light commercial vehicles.
Tell us about your RE-100 Range Extender?
The new RE-100 Range Extender, part of the Reborn Electric range, enables organisations with large fleets of vans, often with major conversions – refrigeration units, bespoke fit outs, minibuses – to retain those vehicles for longer while still transitioning to an electric future.
A vehicle fitted with a RE-100 Range Extender is electric first, with 117km of electric range, making it ideal for ‘Last Mile’ deliveries. Its existing diesel mode can be used when needed for longer trips, switching to electric when entering a low-emission zone and densely populated areas to eliminate emissions and accelerate decarbonisation.
At the heart of RE-100 are two in-wheel motors (IWM) and a battery designed, engineered and manufactured by Bedeo. The in-wheel motors are fitted to the rear axle of the vehicle. The motors are more compact, lighter, efficient and easier to install than an equivalent e-axle and powered by a 37kWh battery. No suspension modifications are required to the front or rear, which means there is no loss of ground clearance and no loss of load space or height.
Can the technology be described as hybrid?
With the RE-100 we have created a new category of hybrid that not only meets the needs of the market but also accelerates transport decarbonisation.
The RE-100 is a hybrid in as much as it can have two modes of power – electric and diesel – but with the Bedeo technology the vehicle cannot be operated as diesel within controlled low emissions zones, unless in an emergency. Outside of controlled zones the driver is in control and can determine when to stay in electric for a more pleasant driving experience, or switch to diesel for longer distances.
The ability to retrofit Bedeo’s IWM into an existing vehicle is an entirely new proposition: Bedeo has leveraged this advanced IWM technology to develop the next generation of retrofit vehicles, unlimited by the constraints of a standard e-axle.
What are the benefits of this retrofit solution?
Commercial fleet operators face a number of significant challenges in the next few years, not least the uncertainty of a moving government deadline for an all-electric future which makes the RE-100 launch even more important.
While sustainability is, of course, a key driver, the end-to-end sustainability (whole lifecycle) of the vehicle also needs to be taken into account. It cannot be sustainable to replace a vehicle that has not reached the end of its useful working life, neither is it sustainable to replace not only the vehicle, but also the refrigeration units or bespoke fit-out that many of these vehicles have.
Retrofitting with electric overcomes these challenges and more, satisfying the need to reduce emissions in our city centres where the majority of the ‘Last Mile’ journeys are required, breathing new life into older vehicles.
Osman Boyner, Founder and CEO, Bedeo