New Flyer Joins OppCharge: Overhead Bus Charging

AUG 28 2018 BY MARK KANE 7

New Flyer buses will recharge using OppCharge – a roof charging system

New Flyer announced that its the first North American bus manufacturer (outside of Volvo Buses / Nova Buses) to join OppCharge, the global initiative to support interoperable charging systems for electric vehicles.

OppCharge enables fast charging of the buses and trucks through an overhead pantograph, that lowers from the station to the bus bars installed on the roof of the vehicle. The charging power of the system is scalable and currently usually starts from 150 kW DC and ends at 450 kW (which not necessarily be the end of progress).

The main force behind OppCharge is Volvo, but in Europe OppCharge is quickly becoming the leading standard (one of two) so many bus and station manufacturers are now on-board with OppCharge.

In the case of New Flyer, overhead pantograph charging will be available in all Xcelsior CHARGE buses: 35, 40, and 60-foot models.

Electric bus (Nova Bus) at the OppCharge overhead fast charging station

“This commitment makes New Flyer the first licensee outside the Volvo Group to join OppCharge in America. It also continues New Flyer’s active participation in and support of global charging standards for electric buses and coaches, for both enroute and depot charging options.

OppCharge interface is a solution driven by Volvo Bus Corporation and several other stakeholders, with the OppCharge Trademark owned by Volvo Bus Corporation.

In 2018, New Flyer joined CharIN to support industry charging standards for all electric vehicles, shortly after becoming the first bus manufacturer in the world to sign on to the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities and also celebrating the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium’s (“CUTRIC”) launch of the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial – the world’s first multi-manufacturer interoperability demonstration for fast-charge electric buses – of which New Flyer was a contributing member.

OppCharge was established to create a common interface for direct current (DC) high-power charging for medium and heavy-duty vehicles.”

“OppCharge systems are currently operational in cities throughout Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Canada, with supporting international members including Siemens, Solaris, ABB, Nova Bus, and Volvo. New Flyer projects are underway or planned for cities in the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis. For more information, visit”

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE 40’

David Warren, New Flyer’s Director of Sustainable Transportation, explained that joining OppCharge utilizes important global charging standards:

“When bus manufacturers use a common charging interface, cities can share electric charging equipment across transit, refuse, and urban delivery vehicles. OppCharge provides interoperability that reduces capital investment in charging equipment, and allows city planners to implement cohesive infrastructure for heavy duty electric vehicles – creating a foundation for long-term, multi-modal application.”

Chris Stoddart, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Service said:

“OppCharge allows a transit bus to charge quickly and reliably at routine stops: for each hour of service, a bus typically requires only six minutes of charging time, allowing continuous high transit operations. We are proud of our OppCharge commitment as it directly supports development of connected multi-modal transportation – known as smart mobility – to propel smart city growth. We are committed to advancing smart mobility in delivering safe, clean, efficient, and connected multimodal transportation in cities across North America.”

Categories: Bus, Charging

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7 Comments on "New Flyer Joins OppCharge: Overhead Bus Charging"

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I worry that top heavy buses with a big battery in the roof will be at risk to tip over during turns.. but hopefully not cause charging during stops is a nice idea

Batteries does not have to be on top of the bus just because the quick charge connector is there.

The OppCharge approach is just one of four methods that SAE is working on in J3105. I am confused as to why New Flyer joined the European group, maybe they sell buses in Europe as well? I suspect there are differences between OppCharge and what will end up in J3105, because that is what happens in a standards development process which is focused on the broader industry needs and not promotion of proprietary solutions. Well, that is what is SUPPOSED to happen anyway…

CharIN is a international group. It probably just means that they use CCS for the communication side of charging. This has been the SAE approach as well.

CharIN is not related to OppCharge as far as I know, although some communication protocols might be shared. So I am confused by your point?

There are two sides to charging. The physical contact, which is what OppCharge is worrying about and the communication side of things which is CharIN’s focus.
Even if the physical contact the SAE will recommend once they finalised their work on this is different to the solution chosen by OppCharge it would just mean replacing the “plug”. Since communication isn’t going to differ. I would think they are either assuming SAE will go for J3105 with the OppCharge approach or they hope they can force the decision. ProTerra adopted OppCharge for the US as well. Creating facts often helps.

The first outside of Volvo Buses / Nova Buses… It’s called second then