Home / Real-life systems / The BBC MegaHertz EV Van - The first ever fully electric newsgathering vehicle, powered by a Mastervolt installation

The BBC MegaHertz EV Van - The first ever fully electric newsgathering vehicle, powered by a Mastervolt installation

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The BBC have recognized that running diesel-powered broadcast trucks into city centres is becoming increasingly untenable. Broadcasters have their own environmental responsibilities, and cities are increasingly imposing heavy penalties on particulate-emitting diesel vehicles, and the BBC are committed to transition to environmental sustainability in their work. As such, MegaHertz was approached by the BBC to provide the right functionality for an all-electric news vehicle to operate in an urban environment.

Mastervolt BBC MegaHertz EV Van

Steve Burgess, CTO at MegaHertz commented; “We chose Mastervolt equipment to provide power for the technical side of the vehicle, due to their intelligent monitoring system and lightweight lithium batteries; their equipment has proven reliability and never let us down”.

Mastervolt’s distributor in the UK, Fischer Panda, undertook the system design and installation with MegaHertz. This vehicle has been delivered to the BBC and underwent a successful 6 month trial with BBC News, based in London, aiding the broadcaster to achieve its sustainability goals.

Benefits of the vehicle

  • Fully electric, zero emissions.
  • Single charging connector for traction and auxiliary batteries.
  • Self-contained implementation for full warranty/support of vehicle manufacturer.
  • 200 km range.
  • Autonomy 8 hours.
  • Transfer charge from traction to auxiliary batteries.
  • Technology applicable to alternative electric vehicles.
  • User-selectable split charging.
  • Lightweight design to meet reduced payload available on all-electric vehicles.

System & customer requirements

The simple brief for the system was: Lightweight : Reliable : Flexible. This mission was delivered through the CombiMaster supplying the required onboard AC power required whilst also offering efficient battery charging if the vehicle is able to be connected to a land line, by adding the new Euro 5/6 Mac Plus DC-DC charger. Additionally, the system can also utilise power from the main vehicle drive battery system into the auxiliary battery powering the onboard system, if extended broadcast time is required. All the main items are linked together on the MasterBus communication platform, so all information is relayed back to a simple, intuitive colour touchscreen control panel for easy monitoring.

Mastervolt electrical system BBC MegaHerz EV Van

System components

  • 1 x CombiMaster 12/2000-60: A powerful 3 step+ battery charger that guarantees maximum battery life and can simultaneously charge two battery banks, combined with a sinus wave inverter with high peak power. 
  • 1 x EasyView 5: Controlling and monitoring a Mastervolt system is easy with this colour touchscreen and multi-language menu. Its handy functionality and compact size, makes the EasyView system monitor ideal for vehicles. 
  • 1 x MLI Ultra 12/5500: Lithium Ion batteries bring two benefits on top of Lithium-iron phosphate cells: a sturdy, waterproof housing and the best Battery Management System (BMS). The BMS ensures optimal use of each individual cell, even during fast charge and discharge, and has integrated battery monitoring to always have the best information on your battery status. The 5500 model is a heavy duty power-house. 
  • 1 x Mac Plus 12/12-50: The Mac Plus DC-DC charger monitors the service battery and compensates the voltage loss.
  • 1 x safety relay: The installation of an external safety relay is necessary and ensures the safety of your battery system. 
  • 1 x Class T fuse & fuse holder.

System drawing

Mastervolt system BBC MegaHertz EV Van