There Will Be An Open Interface For Electric Bus Fast Charging In Europe

MAR 25 2016 BY MARK KANE 6

Volvo’s electric hybrid buses in operation in Stockholm

Volvo’s electric hybrid buses in operation in Stockholm

In the future, charging infrastructure for electric buses in Europe could be standardized to enable different vehicles and charger manufacturers to co-exist on the common market.

It’s especially important because when a particular city installs charging points on the route and buys buses, they would like to be able to use them in the future with other vehicles brands and types.

To that end, this month a group of several EV bus makers and charging infrastructure suppliers announced an open interface for charging.

The group includes:

  • Irizar
  • Solaris
  • VDL
  • Volvo
  • ABB
  • Heliox
  • Siemens

We do have to note who is NOT on the list, the largest player in the field today by a long shot – BYD.  Hopefully there is a solution that can involve them as well, and this standard is not working to attempt to shut out the Chinese manufacturer.

VDL Citeas Electric for Stadtwerke Münster

VDL Citeas Electric for Stadtwerke Münster

“The objective is to ensure an open interface between electric buses and charging infrastructure and to facilitate the introduction of electric bus systems in European cities.

The public transport community is preparing for electric buses in Europe and standardization activities have started via the European body (CEN-CENELEC) and via the international organization for standardization (ISO/IEC). European standards are expected to come in place 2019 and international standards in 2020.

However, many cities are implementing electric bus systems already now. In order to meet the needs of these cities, European bus manufacturers Irizar, Solaris, VDL and Volvo have together with charging system suppliers ABB, Heliox and Siemens agreed to an open, transparent and voluntary approach. Common, preferred interfaces will be opened-up for all market participants and will be used for electric buses with so called opportunity charging (fast charging at end stops) and for overnight charged electric buses. The group is committed to contribute to European standardization activities and to share experiences with CEN/CENELEC and ISO/IEC in order to establish a common European standard for electric bus systems.

The objective is to facilitate the transfer to electric bus systems in cities to ensure reliability and compatibility across bus brands and charging systems. Other bus manufacturers and charging system suppliers are invited to join the cooperation.

For opportunity charging, the system includes automatic contacting by a pantograph, wireless communication, contacting plates and infrastructure equipment that automatically contact vehicles with a pantograph. For overnight charged electric buses, the fast charging standard for cars (CCS) will be used as a base for the plug and for the communication.”

Categories: Bus, Charging, Volvo

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6 Comments on "There Will Be An Open Interface For Electric Bus Fast Charging In Europe"

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Tyler Hilliard

What about Proterra?


Proterra is an American company and Americans like to do things differently from the rest of the world, no matter how senseless that may be.

Rick Bronson

Chicago is going to launch Electric bus, hope more cities slowly join.

China is way ahead in the game.


BYD wants to sell batteries so they prefer large packs and overnight charging in a depot.

Tony Williams

It appears that our European friends are pulling the same s**t with the buses that they pulled with CCS with cars.

BYD leads with EV buses by a long shot, and it’s no surprise that are not part of this little group. The same I s true of Nissan with the LEAF and the CHAdeMO charging standard.

Expect a push for lost to be made in Brussels that just happens to coincide with this groups interests and requests. Also expect whatever they come up with to NOT be compatible with BYD.


Last time I checked, CCS offered charging at a much higher capacity than ChaDeMo.
BYD will offer whatever their customers want, same goes for any other manufacturer. If they want a standardised charging interface, that is what they will get.

Surely you understand that standardised interfaces (of any kind) make the adoption of a technology easier than proprietary interfaces!?

I don’t understand your issue…

PS: Notable absence in the bus association is Daimler. What are they up to?