B before you ask: Yes, the company name is derived from famous German composer Johannes Brahms. Which is surprising, after all, Brahms Electric Vehicles is a company from the English county of Northamptonshire. “We wanted an internationally recognized name for our company that reflected the quality and beauty of what we want to achieve,” it says on the company's website. 'The seriousness and beauty of Brahms' music inspires us as engineers and designers to achieve the best for our customers in the UK and around the world.'
Electric hearse since 2011
The connection to Brahms' strict melodies actually fits very well, after all, the company of the same name has been making hearses for eight years. But the British have a special feature: their models are all purely electric. It all started in 2011 with the Nissan Leaf, the production of which had just started in Sunderland in the north-east of England. The Nissan eNV200 electric van and the Tesla Model S later added to the range. And now the second generation of the Nissan Leaf has been added.
It is constructed much more conventionally than its predecessor, which itself looked a bit like a Snow White coffin on wheels. The reason was the generous glazing on the passenger side, which allowed a view of the entire coffin; the two undertakers sat one behind the other on the right. With the Leaf II, these now take place next to each other, while - separated from them - the maximum 213 x 90 centimeterslarge coffin with flower arrangement is housed behind them.
Longer wheelbase, unchanged drive
But that does not mean that the conversion would not be complex. On the contrary: Brahms has to lengthen the wheelbase by around three quarters of a meter so that the Leaf can fulfill its new purpose. The compact car grows to a length of 5.25 meters and a height of 1.80 meters.
Brahms leaves the electric drive consisting of the 110 kW (150 hp) motor and the 40 kilowatt hour battery untouched . Due to the larger dimensions and the slightly higher weight of the hearse, this means that the range is reduced by around 20 to 250 kilometers. But that also means that Nissan's eight-year warranty on the battery is retained. This is important for funeral directors in order to be able to plan seriously with the hearse. The fact that the maintenance costs could be lower in the long run than with a conventional hearse is also relevant in this context.
Speaking of costs: The starting price will be around 78,000 pounds (currently around 88,000 euros). Exactly that is not yet certain, as the Brahms Nissan Leaf is still in the final development stage. Some undertakers are currently receiving the first test vehicles, so series production should start soon.