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Envisage brings sustainable design to switch mobility’s next-generation electric bus

11 August 2022

Envisage Technologies, part of the Envisage Group, has worked with client Switch Mobility to deliver its 4th generation SWITCH e1 bus.

The 12m-long lightweight electric vehicle was launched at the European Mobility Expo in Paris, taking centre stage as an exemplar of green mobility. Envisage Technologies’ Colour, Material, Finish (CMF) experts were at the heart of the celebrations after supporting the project through the integration of sustainable materials and a striking aesthetic.

The European Mobility Expo 2022 took place in Paris on 7-9 June, bringing together 250 sustainable mobility exhibitors and 11,000 participants. 

With zero-carbon buses the stars of the show, it provided the ideal stage to launch the SWITCH e1. Thanks to its advanced NMC battery technology, the e1 is one of the lightest 12m buses in Europe with a range of around 390km from a 389KWh battery, allowing operators to improve efficiency and reduce lifetime costs.

It is not only E1’s technical credentials making it stand out from the crowd. Envisage’s design input ensured that its colours, materials and finishes are aligned with its sustainable ethos and helped make public transport an appealing alternative for the European customer. 

The aqua and teal seascape aesthetic flies in the face of traditional bland bus design and ties in with a key sustainability theme of protecting our precious oceans. Envisage’s creatives took this a step further by selecting a SEQUEL yarn for the bus seat fabric made from 100 percent recycled polyester.

Envisage has a track record of serving both Tier 1 customers and OEMs from automotive, aerospace, marine and the wider mobility market. Its CMF and paint divisions began working with Switch Mobility in November 2021, feeding into the design process and ensuring colour and materials choices reflected the client’s vision for low-carbon transportation. 

Persuading more people to get out of their cars and onto the bus remains a major challenge and Envisage began by conducting detailed consumer trend research to build CMS themes and concepts for the vehicle’s exterior and interior finishes. Switch chose the seascape theme from 15 different options and went on to integrate the recycled polyester seating fabric into the interior design.

Lauren Reanne Steele, Colour and Materials Designer at Envisage Technologies, said: “As well as ensuring designs and materials were aligned with sustainability, we had to create something exciting that would really engage with the consumer. 

“From pastel flooring to metallic lilac handrails, we’ve not been afraid to do something different and create an inviting atmosphere by responding to the latest consumer trends.”

Switch Mobility’s Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer, Peter Freedman, said: “Following COVID there is a big drive within the bus industry to return ridership to pre-COVID levels. We wanted to develop a C&M approach that appealed to the end customer and encouraged the use of buses again. We also wanted to challenge the norm for the industry and look at using a suite of materials and colours not commonly seen on buses.”

He added: “Switch e1 was extremely positively received by press and customers and we’re confident that the work carried out with Envisage ensured the bus was presented in the best possible manner.”

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