ABB Shows Off New Heavy Vehicle Charger For Electric Buses, Inks $20 Million Order

DEC 5 2017 BY MARK KANE 10

ABB has introduced from the 2017 Busworld show, new Heavy Vehicle Charger (HVC)/ Overnight Charging products, and also new smart charging functionality for electric bus depots.

ABB Heavy Vehicle Charger (HVC) – HVC-Overnight Charger

The HVC-Overnight Charging was designed for 50 kW, 100 kW and 150 kW power levels, and each power cabinet can be paired with up to three charge boxes.

It means that single charger first charges the first vehicle, then the second and then the third – so all three are ready for the next day.

Multiple power cabinets can be stacked together for larger fleets, as you can see on the video.

“After 12 years of research and development in EV charging solutions and experience from commercial products in the field since 2010, the HVC-Overnight Charger offers a compact, single power cabinet paired with up to three charge boxes. This means that after the first vehicle has finished charging, the next will start charging automatically, maximizing vehicle availability and reducing the initial investment and subsequent operational costs.”

“Designed with scalability in mind, the power cabinets of ABB’s HVC-Overnight Charger can be upgraded from 50kW to 100kW or 150kW at any time.

The chargers also come with an extensive suite of connectivity features including remote monitoring, remote management, remote diagnostics, and remote software upgrades. These advanced services from ABB Ability™ provide customers with powerful insight into their charging operation, and enable high uptime and fast response to problems.”

Frank Mühlon, Head of ABB’s Global Business for Electric Vehicle Charging explains:

“Policy makers across the globe are focusing on developing sustainable public transit solutions to tackle emissions in and around the most densely populated cities.

“At ABB we have always been at the forefront of developing state-of-the-art and cost-efficient solutions that meet our customers’ needs and enable us all to look forward to a greener future. The launch of our HVC-Overnight Charging products enabling a smart sequential charging is another significant step towards making this a reality.”

At the Busworld, ABB also presents its high-power automated charging systems for both single and double-decker electric buses.  The charger will work with any manufacturer, and can compete a session in as little as 3-6 minutes by using a pantograph coming down from the infrastructure.

ABB has won a $20 million order from Swiss bus manufacturer HESS to supply its flash-charging technology for 20 e-buses and related infrastructure for the French city of Nantes

Another product from the show was ABB’s TOSA flash charging technology, which will soon be utilized in France.

ABB just received a $20 million order from Swiss bus manufacturer HESS to supply its flash-charging technology for 20 e-buses, and also related infrastructure for the French city of Nantes.

The 24-meter buses can take up to 151 passengers and have the capability to charge for 20 seconds at 600 kW at selected stops. A further 1 to 5 minutes charge (at 400 kW) at the terminus at the end of the line enables a full recharge of the batteries.

The first TOSA buses went into service in Switzerland.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

“The buses will be operated by public transport operator, Société d’Economie Mixte des Transports de l’Agglomération Nantaise (Semitan).”

“Batteries mounted on the roofs of the Nantes buses will be charged in 20 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at selected stops while passengers are embarking and disembarking. It takes less than one second to connect the bus to the charging point, making it the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology. A further 1 to 5 minutes charge at the terminus at the end of the line enables a full recharge of the batteries.

ABB’s flash-charging technology and onboard traction equipment, which make the flash-charging possible, are part of its innovative TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) solution, which is the world’s leading technology of its kind.

The fleet will run on the Busway Bus Rapid Transit (Line 4) route connecting the historic center of Nantes with municipalities on the southern side of the river Loire. The new bus system will increase passenger capacity by 35 percent enabling sustainable transport for about 2,500 commuters every hour. Since the route’s inauguration in 2006, passenger numbers have increased, leading to overcrowded buses. The 24 meter long, fully electric buses from HESS will be the first of their kind in the world to be equipped with the flash-charging technology, enabling a higher passenger capacity, emission-free public transport and noise reduction. The buses are expected to be operational by the end of 2018.”

“Each of the new e-buses can carry 151 passengers and will be equipped with energy-efficient ABB drivetrain technology, comprising traction and auxiliary converters, permanent magnet traction motors, roof-mounted battery units and energy transfer systems.”

Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division said:

“This revolutionary technology requires no overhead lines and provides silent, zero-emission mass transit as a viable alternative to fossil fuel powered buses, offering a model for future urban transportation. The project exemplifies our commitment to deliver customer value through technology and innovation, and reinforces our position as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid, in line with our Next Level strategy.”

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10 Comments on "ABB Shows Off New Heavy Vehicle Charger For Electric Buses, Inks $20 Million Order"

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Meanwhile, ProTerra has already installed and is using 500 kW BEV bus chargers. And they’re not limited to any measly 20 seconds of charge, either!

So, color me unimpressed.

I think the difference is that this company is using overhead chargers at stops. I don’t think the 20 seconds is the technical limit of the connection time. It sounds like that is how long they project it takes at each stop to load and unload riders before the bus departs. The same overhead chargers appear to be able to operate for longer at the ends of the routes, where buses sit and wait to synchronize with the bus schedule for the return trip across their route.

Yeah,the charge time is adjusted after what is needed.
This is an OppCharge based system I guess?

For more information on this system, chech out the link:

There is a lot going on in infrastructure, with the OppCharge system.
It is high enough for a double decker bus to drive under it.
It can also be used by trucks (EV or hybrid), if they are allowed to.
In a project we’re working on, a truck central will have their own charging infrastructure. Cost is covered in part by the government. Hybrid vehicles can be fully charged before entering the city, and reduce noise and local pollution.

I think this all sounds pretty good. Different municipalities are going to need different solutions. In London where I live there are major grid constraints in a lot of places to the age of our infrastructure so slower charging rates are going to be helpful for getting more electric buses deployed.

600 kW continuous charging would require 600 kW grid connection. 20 seconds of 600 kW is 3.3 kWh, and that could be done with relatively small energy storage with rapid discharge capability (supercapacitors?) and moderate grid connection for charging.

I don’t know the technology they are actually using, but charge time optimized for stop time would be sensible to minimize energy storage and grid connection cost.

The idea of charging just at stops and at the ends of routes sounds good, it beats having overhead wires for miles. But I’m a bit worried about the clearance for large trucks.

It would suck to have a large truck with a tall load run into them. The wired systems resolve this by having a tall connector on the top of the buses. It is hard to tell from the picture how high these really are, and if the buses reach up to the chargers, or how that works.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Buses have large packs so 500 kW charging can be done without harming the battery capacity nor charge rate.

Battery on the roof ?

TOSA buses “go live” this week-end, line 23 in Geneva for regular service.
They start service with two buses.
They will receive the remaining 10 buses next spring for a full service with TOSA buses on the line 23.