ABB Introduces Automated Fast Charger For Electric Buses


ABB launches automated fast charging system for electric buses at Busworld 2015

ABB launches automated fast charging system for electric buses at Busworld 2015

ABB is presenting at the 2015 Busworld in Kortrijk, Belgium, its global fast charging solution for electric or plug-in hybrid buses.

The new automated fast charging system uses a rooftop connection and can send up to 450 kW of DC power to the vehicle (150 kW and 300 kW versions also available).

The first project with four ABB fast chargers for six Volvo’s plug-in hybrid buses will be launched in Luxembourg by 2016. Volvo is also the main ABB partner in developing the system.

“With its automated rooftop connection and a typical charge time of 4-6 minutes, the system can easily be integrated in existing bus lines by installing fast chargers at end points, terminals, depots and / or intermediate stops. ABB’s fast-charging system is a practical solution built on international standards (e.g. IEC 61851-23), assuring safety, regulatory compliance and wide automotive industry support. These ingredients allow the solution to work safely in any bus line and with any electric bus with the correct rooftop interface.”

“ABB’s automated fast-charging solution is based on the ‘pantograph’ – a proven mechanical concept for linking power supplies to trains, trams and buses. When a bus arrives at the charging stop, wireless communication will be established between bus and charger and a special inverted pantograph will come down automatically. When all safety checks are performed, the system will provide the bus with a powerful fast recharge.”

Pekka Tiitinen, President of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division said:

“Mature and emerging markets alike are making substantial urban e-mobility investments to reduce congestion and the environmental burden of many more commuters. ABB’s Next Level growth strategy is built around opportunities in such rapidly expanding markets, supported by a strong technology and service portfolio.”

ABB automated fast charging system

ABB automated fast charging system

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8 Comments on "ABB Introduces Automated Fast Charger For Electric Buses"

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With a system like this there is no reason to ever have diesel city busses ever again. The higher initial cost would be far outweighed in the long run by much lower operating costs from cheaper fuel and very low drivetrain maintenance.

In fact every major city should require all city bus fleets to replace fossil fuel busses as they retire to EVs not only for better emissions but for economic reasons as well.


But… but… China bought some fuel cell buses! Fuel cel buses!!!

“the first industry to go all-electric will be mass transit”

A typical charge time of 4 to six minutes. What kind of infrastructure would it take to be able to do that with a car and be as prevalent and well located as a supercharger network?

But how far can they travel on the 4-6min charge?

Maybe 20 miles. 5 minutes at 450kW will deliver 37.5kWh. There was a claim that a BYD e-Coach could travel 190 miles on a 365kWh pack, so that’s about 0.52mi/kWh.

…and 20 miles for a city bus is plenty. Especially in busy cities where lots of buses average under 20 mph in stop and go traffic.

That sounds about right.

I expect the idea is for the bus to leave the source terminal fully charged, and only get charged by one of these once mid-route, as a boost.