EVM opens West Sussex PSVAR conversion facility to increase capacity

EVM opened a UK-based PSVAR conversion facility for Mercedes-Benz Tourismo Mk 1 and Mk 2 coaches on 4 May.

Based in an existing EVM warehouse they have in Horsham, West Sussex, it increases EVM’s conversion capacity alongside its Irish facility.

The new centre has a team of six people, who have received factory training, with quality carefully monitored by EVM Engineering Director Cosimo Facecchia.

The move comes as the Department for Transport’s extensions (derogations) for non-compliant PSVAR (Passenger Service Vehicle Accessibility Requirements) used on home-to-school and rail replacement duties are coming to an end.

Since November 2020 when EVM put its hand up as a competent convertor for the PSVAR conversions on the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo Mk 1 and Mk2, Ivor Jones and his team in Ireland have been busy with the development of their offering. 

“Weeks and possibly months of time have been invested to achieve the safety – quality  and factory finish operators would expect to see on their Mercedes-Benz Coaches” says Ivor.

The EVM PSVAR conversion is a non-invasive transformation from the point of view of the structural strength of the coach. In fact, the structural elements of the body, previously tested by the manufacturer in accordance with the regulation R66, remain unchanged. The overall installation complies with the regulation ECE R107.

Why EVM

EVM has been a dominant force in the supply of mini-coaches in the UK for the last 10 years.

From concept to delivery they are known for their high level of engineering ability and attention to detail, Coupled with a tried and tested after sales service and spare parts support, EVM believe they are well positioned to service this segment of the market. 

“It’s not just about cutting a hole in the side of a coach and fitting a lift and door” comments Danny Mc Gee Managing Director at EVM. 

“Behind the scenes we have to support a product liability insurance policy of £10m should the worst ever happen and something goes wrong with the conversion which causes injury or fatality. It’s not something a customer should consider, but important if it is ever required.”

Door kit

The frame of the door is made from a high-strength carbon steel, welded to the OEM structure to guarantee resistance over time without compromising the strength of the original coaches body’s structure.

The door itself, made of light and strong alloy steel, guarantees resistance and at the same time does not considerably increase the weight of the structure while maintaining the original position of the vehicle’s centre of gravity.

Stainless-steel hinges are installed to avoid any corrosion problems in later life. The door lock mechanism consists of two safety locks, located one at the top side, and one at the bottom side of the door. This guarantees first of all a double safety and a good water seal/noise insulation.

A buzzer and light warns the driver if the door isn’t correctly closed. In addition, the door is linked with the vehicle’s central locking system. For safety reasons, the door can only be opened from outside, in fact there is no handle from inside that can be operated accidentally from the passengers.

Windows

In terms of transparency and thermal conductivity, the windows installed are designed  100% to match the OEM’s ones both in colour and size; EVM has invested heavily to develop the three different colour tints offered originally from EvoBus and achieved an equal or even better factory finish.

PLS Mega Lift

The wheelchair lift is positioned in the luggage compartment and is as close as possible to the ground; this guarantees a very low COG (centre of gravity) which doesn’t have a negative effect on the position of the original COG of the coach.

The cassette lift is fitted firmly to a bespoke frame which is then fixed to the original structure of the vehicle.

To guarantee a correct functionality of the lift a sealed flap is added to the OEM side locker door.

This is to avoid any possible water leaks into the luggage compartment which could be caused if a dedicated side luggage door is installed. Again no compromise on the quality of the original product.

Removable seats

EVM offering sees two double seats fitted on NMI Millennium Quick release fittings and recessed floor tracking supported underfloor by a bespoke additional structure which has been developed and tested by the manufacturer to R80 pull test and Regulation 107 bus certification.

Passenger information displays

Supplied by Hannover, the displays are the most reliable on the market and the installation is in accordance with the manufacturer of the system; there is no negative impact when the panels are fitted and integrated with the OEM electrical system.

Trimming and painting

All metal structures are properly cleaned, degreased and treated to guarantee an high level of corrosion protection.

The internal trimming is bespoke for each coach EVM converts, and is in accordance with the overall design in terms of material used and colours.

The repainting process is in accordance with the highest automotive standards, adds EVM

The heating system (only on the side where the door is fitted) is re-engineered and the parts used are both OEM, where possible, and high-quality parts, to guarantee the highest standard and performance.

PDI

After the vehicle is completed, a deep check-up is performed to guarantee the highest level of  quality. The result is reported and stored in EVM’s database to guarantee the traceability in accordance with the ISO quality standard.

Certification

PSVAR Conversions undertaken by EVM are being returned to their owners with a PSVA1 Accessibility Certificate from DVSA.

Nationwide coverage

Guy Billings covering the South and Matt Thompson covering the North are really pleased with the feedback received by customers post delivery of the first vehicles. Despite the development taking longer than planned, they are really happy with the final result achieved by the engineering team at EVM.

Anybody thinking of conversions should contact EVM on 0845 5205160 or Guy Billings on 07736 635959 [email protected] and Matt Thompson on 07860 958233 [email protected]

FIND OUT MORE: EVM is exhibiting at the ITT Hub 2021 event on June 30-July 1, at Farnborough International, just off the M25, west of London. Register for your free place now! www.itthub.co.uk

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