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electric buses

Daimler Buses’ and Akasol’s long-term cooperation for the development and mass-production of battery systems for the electric bus eCitaro is going from strength to strength. In autumn, serial production of the first-generation battery system Akasystem OEM will begin in Langen (Hesse, Germany) as planned. Meanwhile, Akasol is starting to develop second-generation lithium-ion battery systems in close cooperation with Daimler Buses. These will offer about 35 percent more energy and contribute to an improved range in 2020.

Instead of currently 25 kWh storage capacity per battery pack, the second generation will be able to store 33 kWh per battery pack. This means an increase of 35 percent from 243 to 330 kWh per vehicle while maintaining the same constructed space, weight and upwards compatibility. This is made possible thanks to the unique, flexible system architecture that Akasol offers its clients. According to Daimler Buses this technology leap, in conjunction with other factors, contributes to an increase of the vehicle’s range to approximately 200 km (SORT2 cycles, medium traffic) and up to 250 km when operating under ideal circumstances.

The lithium-ion battery systems of both generations are able to charge rapidly (at up to 300 kW) and supply energy to additional units such as air conditioning and electrical systems. The key factor for providing robustness and durability is Akasol’s efficient water-cooling which guarantees stable tempering at 25 ºC and allows battery-run buses to operate in all climates. The high-performance battery systems are partly mounted on the roof, partly in the rear.

Akasol has developed and distributed a variety of battery systems for electric and hybrid electric buses for many years. In addition to EvoBus, one of Akasol’s clients of series produced battery systems for buses, buses using Akasol’s innovative battery technology are in daily operation in London, Berlin, Cologne and Braunschweig amongst others.

Source: Akasol

The electrification of road transport will move into top gear in the second half of the 2020s, thanks to tumbling battery costs and larger-scale manufacturing, with sales of electric cars racing to 28%, and those of electric buses to 84%, of their respective global markets by 2030.

The latest long-term forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) shows sales of electric vehicles (EVs), increasing from a record 1.1 million worldwide last year to 11 million in 2025, and then surging to 30 million in 2030 as they establish cost advantage over internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. China will lead this transition, with sales there accounting for almost 50% of the global EV market in 2025 and 39% in 2030.

The number of ICE vehicles sold per year (gasoline or diesel) is expected to start declining in the mid-2020s, as EVs bite hard into their market. In 2040, some 60 million EVs are projected to be sold, equivalent to 55% of the global light-duty vehicle market. ‘Shared mobility’ cars will be a small but growing element.

The advance of e-buses will be even more rapid than for electric cars, according to BNEF’s analysis. It shows electric buses in almost all charging configurations having a lower total cost of ownership than conventional municipal buses by 2019. There are already over 300,000 e-buses on the road in China, and electric models are on track to dominate the global market by the late 2020s.

Colin McKerracher, lead analyst on advanced transportation for BNEF, commented: “Developments over the last 12 months, such as manufacturers’ plans for model roll-outs and new regulations on urban pollution, have bolstered our bullish view of the prospects for EVs. The changes to our forecast this time compared to the previous one a year ago are modest, at least as far as cars are concerned. We now think EVs will be 55% of light-duty vehicle sales in 2040, rather than 54%, and represent 33% of the total car fleet worldwide. But the big new feature of this forecast is electric buses. China has led this market in spectacular style, accounting for 99% of the world total last year. The rest of the world will follow, and by 2040 we expect 80% of the global municipal bus fleet to be electric.”

BNEF expects the transition in transport to have major implications for electricity demand, and for the oil market. EVs and e-buses will use 2,000TWh in 2040, adding 6% to global electricity demand. Meanwhile, the switch from ICE to electric vehicles is forecast to displace 7.3 million barrels a day of transport fuel.

The BNEF team has taken a detailed look at whether the increased appetite for metals such as lithium and cobalt resulting from the rise of electrified transport could lead to supply shortages for these key metals. In the short term, BNEF sees a risk of cobalt shortages in the early 2020s that could slow down some of the rapid battery cost declines we have seen recently. Looking further out, charging infrastructure is still a challenge.

bnef-ev2

The outlook for EV sales will be influenced by how quickly charging infrastructure spreads across key markets, and also by the growth of ‘shared mobility’. BNEF predicts that the global shared mobility fleet will swell from just under 5 million vehicles today to more than 20 million by 2040. By then over 90% of these cars will be electric, due to lower operating costs. Highly autonomous vehicles will account for 40% of the shared mobility fleet.

The pace of electrification in transport will vary by country, particularly over the next 12 years as some markets jump ahead of others. BNEF forecasts that in 2030, EVs will make up 44% of European light-duty vehicle sales, 41% of those in China, 34% in the U.S., and 17% in Japan. However, a shortage of charging infrastructure and a lack of affordable models will hold back the market in India, so that EVs will make up just 7% of new car sales in 2030 there.

BNEF’s projections imply big opportunities for lithium-ion battery manufacturers. China is already dominant in this market, with a 59% global share of production capacity in 2018, and this is forecast to rise to 73% by 2021.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

BYD is strengthening its position in the Spanish bus market. BYD and TUSGSAL signed a contract this week for the delivery of eight BYD pure electric 12 metre buses to the city of Badalona in Barcelona province. It is the second Spanish order for BYD after being awarded the tender to deliver one 12 metre ebus to bus operator EMT in Valencia in April 2017.

It is the first pure electric bus fleet for Badalona. The eight ebuses are expected to be delivered in the beginning of 2019 and soon after delivery they will service routes in the city of Badalona.

Alfonso Suarez, Deputy Director and Secretary of the Board at TUSGSAL, said: “We are very excited about our first purchase of electric buses and delighted that BYD will supply them. It will be the first electric bus fleet in Badalona and we are looking forward to next year when we will start operating them.”

Isbrand Ho, Managing Director at BYD Europe said: “Just a month after we confirmed the order of eight ebuses to Portugal, a new market for BYD, we are delighted to have confirmed this Spanish order. Thanks to TUSGSAL, citizens in Badalona will benefit from improved air quality with the help of our buses.This development underlines BYD’s growing market expansion across Europe – in this case in the competitive Iberian peninsula”.

ABB is again underlining its leading role in sustainable global transport solutions with a new project together with Volvo Buses, this time for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore: ABB will provide its state-of-the-art Heavy Vehicle Chargers (HVC) 300P for the forthcoming project to deliver two autonomous driving electric buses for the island by the beginning of 2019.

The HVC 300P fast charging system delivers 300 kW DC power and will recharge a battery in three to six minutes. It is based on OppCharge, an open interface for DC electric bus charging, which is now being used in Singapore and Asia Pacific. Using a pantograph mounted on the infrastructure for end-point charging, it allows buses to be charged at the end of the line, without impacting on the normal operation of the route.

The system will charge two all-electric 12-meter Volvo 7900 Electric buses and Volvo and NTU will build the autonomous driving solution on Volvo’s platform. This is Volvo’s first autonomous application in public transportation, following success in autonomous technology in mining, quarry and refuse collection operations.

ABB is due to deliver the first of two HVC 300P fast chargers towards the end of 2018, when the cooperative venture between Volvo Buses and NTU gets underway. The autonomous electric buses will be delivered in early 2019. So far ABB has sold more than 6,000 cloud connected DC fast-chargers around the world for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. ABB has now also teamed up with Formula E – the world’s first fully electric international FIA motorsport series as part of its continuous drive to promote sustainable mobility.

Source: ABB

Volvo Buses and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have signed a cooperation agreement on a research and development program for autonomous electric buses. The program is part of the Land Transport Authority of Singapore’s drive to create new solutions for tomorrow’s sustainable public transport.

Singapore and its Land Transport Authority (LTA) are recognized for their focus on public transport and deployment of autonomous vehicles in the effort to create a sustainable city environment. Singapore has announced that self-driving buses will be deployed in several areas of the country by 2022.

For Volvo this will be the first autonomous application in public transportation. Volvo has already demonstrated the autonomous technology in mining, quarry and refuse collection operations.

The basis of the program consists of two all-electric 12-metre Volvo 7900 Electric buses, of the same type that Volvo Buses already delivers today. Volvo and NTU will build the autonomous driving solution on Volvo’s platform.

One of the autonomous electric buses in the program will be used on Singapore’s advanced new test facility for autonomous vehicles, CETRAN (Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles), which was inaugurated in November 2017. Here, NTU’s researchers will in a fenced-off area be able to test new functionality and study how the bus interacts with other road-users in various conditions.

The second bus will be used for tests in the bus depot in partnership with the public transport operator SMRT. The aim is that tomorrow’s autonomous buses should be able to charge their batteries, drive through the depots to the vehicle wash and park – entirely autonomously.

The cooperative program between Volvo Buses and NTU is now underway and will initially last for two years. The jointly developed autonomous electric buses will arrive into Singapore in the beginning of 2019.

Fast-charging stations based on the common OppCharge interface will be supplied by ABB. The OppCharge interface is very well suited for autonomous charging solutions in bus depots as well as in running traffic.

The autonomous Volvo 7900 Electric

• All-electric-powered, two-axle 12 m long city bus with low floor. Quiet and emission-free operation and 80 % lower energy consumption compared to a corresponding diesel bus.
• The buses will be equipped with GPS along with LIDAR laser technology-based system for charting, positioning and scanning the area around the vehicle. Automatic regulation of steering, gear changing and speed.

Source: Volvo Buses

Alstom and NTL have presented in Duppigheim (Alsace, France) Aptis, an innovative mobility solution. As cities are looking for smarter, more efficient and more connected means of transportation, Aptis has already attracted the interest of customers in Europe. In France, STIF has decided to launch two trials, one of which is with RATP. Aptis will undergo test runs in Paris and in the Ile-de-France region during the second half of 2017.

Aptis’ unique and innovative design, based on that of a tram, incorporates low-floor accessibility and 360° views. Two or three large double doors enable easy on-and-off passenger flows and smooth access for wheelchairs and strollers.

 

Operators will benefit from a vehicle that is easy to maintain with the longest lifetime in its category. With four steerable wheels versus two for a bus, Aptis occupies 25% less surface area in curves, providing perfect integration into the city. At bus stops, this minimises the space needed to park while offering gains in available space for other vehicles.

Alstom and NTL will provide not only the vehicle, but an entire system. It includes dimensioning, charging options, road infrastructure, leasing and warranty options, ensuring that cities can smoothly and cost-effectively integrate electric mobility into their transport networks. Thanks to low maintenance and operation costs and a longer lifetime compared to buses, Aptis has a total cost of ownership equivalent to current diesel buses.

Aptis can be charged at night in the depot, or rapidly at the end of each line during daily operations. Fast charging is either via inverted pantograph or SRS, Alstom’s innovative fast ground charging system.

Aptis prototypes are being manufactured in NTL’s factory in Duppigheim, Alsace, with key components manufactured by five of Alstom’s sites in France: Saint-Ouen for the project management and system integration, Tarbes for the traction, Ornans for the motors, Vitrolles for SRS and Villeurbanne for electronic components of the traction.

Source: Alstom

ABB has been awarded orders totaling more than $16 million by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), Geneva’s public transport operator, and Swiss bus manufacturer HESS, to provide flash charging and on-board electric vehicle technology for 12 TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) fully electric buses (e-buses) which will run on Line 23, connecting Geneva’s airport with suburban Geneva. The e-buses can help save as much as 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, when compared with existing diesel buses.

ABB will deliver and deploy 13 flash-charging stations along an urban transit bus route, as well as three terminal and four depot feeding stations. This will be the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology taking less than 1 second to connect the bus to the charging point. The onboard batteries can then be charged in 15 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at the bus stop. A further 4 to 5 minute charge at the terminus at the end of the line enables a full recharge of the batteries. The innovative technology was developed by ABB engineers in Switzerland.

The decision to deploy TOSA on Line 23 was undertaken after the successful pilot of the first such e-bus on the route from Geneva airport to the Palexpo exhibition center. The Line 23 bus route will be slightly modified in order to provide a fast connection to Praille-Acacias-Vernet, a new suburb being built to accommodate 11,000 flats and office space for about 11,000 employees. When fully commissioned in 2018, the high-capacity articulated buses will depart from both terminuses at 10-minute intervals during peak times. The line carries more than 10,000 passengers a day and the replacement of diesel buses by TOSA e-buses reduces noise as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of a separate award by HESS, ABB will supply 12 flexible drivetrain solutions for the buses including integrated traction and auxiliary converters, roof-mounted battery units and energy transfer systems (ETS), as well as permanent magnet traction motors. Both contracts include five-year maintenance and service agreements to ensure operational reliability, efficiency and safety.

Source: ABB

Endesa has presented an ultra-fast charging solution for e-buses, a project on which it is working together with TMB, the Barcelona Metropolitan Transport company. This system is able to charge 80% of the battery of the e-bus in just 5 minutes, thanks to a charger that connects to a pantograph installed in the roof of the vehicle.

The project is currently undergoing works phase in Cisell Street, close to the Plaza del Nou, in the Barcelona neighbourhood of La Marina del Prat Vermell in the district of Sants-Monjuic.

The ultra-fast charging system benefits from a 400 kW output and comprises a module around 5 m tall, similar to a street light, situated at the final stop on the bus route, where the vehicle stands for a few minutes before restarting its circular route. Installed into the roof of the vehicle is a retractable pantograph – a device equipped with a mechanical arm – that, via a sensor, detects once the point is reached where the module has to be charged. Once correctly positioned, the arm of the pantograph folds out and connects with the housing of the charging system.

The charger is connected to the Endesa control centre, from where data will be shared with TMB, giving real time information about the activity of the device and the status of the connected vehicle. The launch of the charger has also involved installing an underground transformer station exclusively designed to operate the charger.

The metropolitan bus route that will benefit from this system is the H16 that links the Forum in Barcelona with the Free Trade Zone, following a 12 km route that runs parallel to the sea and passing through Poble Nou, the Olympic Village, Plaza Cataluña and Plaza España. This route, part of the new bus network, will incorporate two Solaris Urbino 18 articulated vehicles. These 18 metre long buses are fully electric and as such are zero emissions. They are the first of this size to be manufactured in Europe and are currently undergoing testing at the TMB’s engineering department. This projects reaffirms Barcelona’s position at the forefront of the implementation of clean solutions for bus transport based on progressive electrification: its 5 PEVs plus 159 hybrids account for 15% of the TMB’s operational fleet.

Swiss connector specialist Multi-Contact has developed an innovative connector for fast charge systems that allows e-buses to charge up en route, paving the way for environmentally friendly inner city transportation. The system is simple. When the driver of the e-bus pulls up at the bus stop, the charge point folds out: a flexible tube with a male connector clicks into the charging socket installed on the bus, starting the charging process on emission of a signal. The amount of energy that can be transferred during this short stop is sufficient to recharge the starter battery.

As these e-buses have the possibility to refuel large quantities of energy 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.

The entire system is designed to ensure reliability as well as guarantee the safety of the driver, passengers and pedestrians. Whether plugged in or not, all live parts are out of reach of the passengers and are protected against accidental contact. Only once the contact carrier has been mechanically and precisely connected, the power and signal contacts are made and the electronic release is activated to start the charging process. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2016

Since 2013, transport companies all over Germany have been testing electric buses equipped with Bombardier’s PRIMOVE system. Now the city of Marburg has joined the group of cities that are trying out this new technology. This combination of long-life batteries, an efficient propulsion system and inductive fast charging technology, has already proven its suitability for everyday passenger services, even on the most demanding bus routes.

The first PRIMOVE 12 metre long e-bus has been successfully serving passengers in Brunswick, Germany since March 2014. In December that year, the world’s first 18 metre articulated e-buses complemented passenger operations in the same city. PRIMOVE equipped e-buses are also running in Berlin and Mannheim, Germany and in Bruges, Belgium. Vehicles with inductive charging on the roads of these cities have already covered more than 230,000 km since passenger operations started with the first PRIMOVE electric bus.

In the Chinese city of Nanjing, trams have been equipped with lightweight and long-life PRIMOVE batteries. Furthermore, in March 2015 Bombardier signed an agreement with one of the world’s largest automakers for the serial development of the PRIMOVE inductive charging solution for EVs. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2016

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