An innovative charging concept gives electric buses more mobility and route independence

The driver of the e-bus pulls up at the bus stop. A flexible plug immediately extends from the charging station, clicks into the charging socket installed on the bus and after a signal has been issued, starts charging. The amount of energy that can be transferred during the short stop is sufficient to recharge the starter battery. Thanks to this new connector for fast charge systems, the Swiss connector specialist Multi-Contact is paving the way for battery-powered buses to further develop into environmentally friendly inner city transportation.

Charging occurs automatically at regular intervals along the route, without affecting vehicle operation. Alternatively, this can be carried out during longer stops at the bus terminus. Due to these repeated charging cycles, a smaller battery is sufficient, positively impacting on the weight of the vehicle and on operating costs. As these e-buses have the possibility to refuel within a short period at the bus stops with charging currents of up to 900 A, for the first time they present a serious alternative to track-guided trolley buses and vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Thanks to the vehicle’s patented mechanical guide, the system can compensate for different loads, irregularities in the road surface and inaccuracies when parking the bus. The funnel-shaped design of the charging socket tolerates positioning inaccuracies of up to 500 mm. Depending on customer requirements, the coaxial plug can be equipped with up to 9 pins (2–3 power contacts, 1 ground contact, 5 signal contacts). Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY September 2015