Meet The World’s Quickest Charging Electric Bus

MAY 17 2015 BY MARK KANE 24

18-meter-long BRT with super capacitor seen at CSR Ningbo base

18-meter-long BRT with super capacitor seen at CSR Ningbo base

Chinese company CSR unveiled an 18-meter long, ultra-quick charging electric bus.

Less than half a minute (some news outlets are stating just 10 seconds) at a bus stop is needed to recharge the super capacitors for another 3 miles of driving.

“The bus recharges while stationary or while passengers get on or off, and each charge enables the bus to run for least five kilometers, said Zhou Qinghe, president of Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, a subsidiary of high-speed train maker CSR.

In addition, the bus consumes 30 to 50 percent less energy than other electric vehicles.

The capacitor can function safely for 12 years even under extreme temperatures, according to the company.”

If you think that charging in seconds is perhaps a bit of a stretch, then here something even more ridiculous: 1,200 orders!

“On Thursday orders for 1,200 buses were placed.”

Umm…we’re not fully believing that statement until we see it.

To us, the CSR prototype reminds us of the ABB TOSA, which was introduced as a concept a few years ago.

18-meter-long BRT with super capacitor seen at CSR Ningbo base

18-meter-long BRT with super capacitor seen at CSR Ningbo base

18-meter-long BRT with super capacitor seen at CSR Ningbo base

18-meter-long BRT with super capacitor seen at CSR Ningbo base

source: Xinhua,, CNTVNA

Categories: Bus, Charging

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24 Comments on "Meet The World’s Quickest Charging Electric Bus"

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Love to see electric buses!

Hhhhmmmm…sounds more than a little fishy…trumped up claims and all! Don’t get me wrong, I think such EV mass transit development is great but let’s not oversell it and get a black eye in the process. Also…the company initials appear to be CSR…not CRS. Waiting to see how this develops…or not. 🙂

CSR… corrected.

That sounds like a very interetsing development. Supercapacitors are a very well proven and understood technology and the claims are quite believable. AFAIK they have basically unlimited charging and discharging cycles, with no degradation. Driving this bus over longer distances, like transferring it between two bus depots under its own power will likely suck, though …

My back of the napkin calculations say that the chargers need to deliver around a megawatt of power to charge the bus that fast. This tells me that there must be ultra capacitors in the charging station to buffer that demand. So the infrastructure would probably cost more than the buses.

WHy? The supercapacitors in the charging station need only be as big as that in the bus, And the bus needs a lot of other stuff: wheels, motor, seats, doors, air conditioning, driver. Plus there are likely more buses than charging stations.

18 meters long for only 3 miles, but they do charge really fast. This isn’t much range, every 2 miles you need one of those stations.

Some cities could still benefit from that.

Your making an assumption that it’s overall capacity is only 3 miles, why would it be? surely you would just have a block of regular old batteries as well with however normal EV miles you felt were needed to provide the required flexibility.

The same company also produces the ultracapacitator powered trams that run in Guangzhou.

more pictures:

I think tram lines can be build massive cheaper, if you don’t need power lines everywhere. That can be a future revival of trams in many cities, where they were closed in the past due to too high costs.

The only drawback to supercapacitors is their energy density. The space taken by those capacitors (maybe 10kwh’s worth?) are probably the same as that taken by BYD’s 150kwh’s worth. It’s the perfect example of the tradeoffs between fast charging and charge capacity

It would be nice to see a picture of the capacitor layout.

No picture, but the article linked below suggests a 600kg capacitator is enough for 10km of range, or at least that was the case in 2013. Numbers from Chinese newspapers are always to be taken with a grain of salt; but at least the weight is probably correct.

I remember such buses started being used in Shanghai around the Expo in 2010. On some lines they stayed and have apparently been improved.

Humm, I’m not fully believing anything in that ad. Sure, capacitors can be charged very quickly and extremely efficiently. But the problem is they don’t hold much energy for their volume… the volumetric energy density is very low as compared to li-ion batteries. That’s why no electric vehicle is powered by capacitors. (A small toy car might be, but even that only for a short distance.) That might be fine for a huge stationary installation, but no way is it practical for an EV.

I also don’t believe “the bus consumes 30 to 50 percent less energy than other electric vehicles.” Properly designed EVs are already very efficient; when your vehicle is already 75-85% efficient, another 30 to 50% simply isn’t possible. (Now, I do note that in comments on a very recent article on InsideEVs, there was some discussion of a poorly designed Chinese make EV with surprisingly low efficiency. Perhaps they were comparing this bus to that? 😉 )

Most probably comparing it with the poorest possible.
95% motor efficiency, 90% inverter efficiency are the same with battery or capcitor.
The only difference could be in battery thermal loss and Peukert effect that account for less than 10-15%.
Assuming that there is no loss in this high power energy transfer, wich is doubful.
Yeah, this is phony.

It makes sense to me. Bus stops in urban routes can be spaced at 300 or 400 meters, so this is over 10 times that. You’d need a charger every 1500 meters to account for one being out of service. On a 30 km bus route that would be only 20 chargers.

The system pays back because you don’t have batteries that degrade. Transit buses are high-cycle vehicles, so it is a natural application.

The added efficiency is plausible. Both regen and charging would be basically lossless, and a transit bus would have regen every single stop.

My only question is the cost of the bus and the chargers. But there is definitely a level at which this idea becomes a no-brainer, for dense urban routes.

Regenerative braking can never approach being lossless. Even electric motors aren’t 99% efficient, and the mechanical drivetrain (including tire flexing) somewhat less so. The maximum possible round-trip efficiency, including electric drive and regenerative braking, would surely be no better than 0.9 x 0.9 = 81%, and very probably rather less.

That would Be Great for E Cars! …Anything that The Mind Can Conceive Can & will Become a reality.. I Believe That If It’s Not happening Just Now… It Will Happen in very the Near Future…

Probably more economical to just string electric cables above, ala cable car style.

Fantastic bring it on…
Who would have thought the
Commonwealth Sugar Refinery CSR would have a branded electric quick charge bus in China LOL!

And in Sevilla Spain, they are running a tram on super capacitors since 2012:

Admittedly, charging takes twice as long. 20 seconds.

Can they charge an LRT (light rail) like that in 10 to 20 seconds ? if so, the world will eliminate half the pollution in no time.

Can they charge a WIRELESS LRT (light rail) like that in 20 to 30 seconds ? if so, pollution will be reduced by half