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electric buses

FuturENERGY Dec. 19 - Jan. 2020

How far can an electric bus travel before it needs to recharge its batteries? The question comes naturally when thinking about electric cars, especially as the essence of having a car is the freedom to go anywhere, at any time. A bus, however, does not go anywhere at any time: it goes to a specific place, along a specific route and at a specific time, and repeats that day-in and day-out according to a published schedule, so that range anxiety need not be an issue for electric buses. The real question, therefore, is not how far it can go but how fast can it recharge before going there again. This article looks at why flash recharging reduces the overall cost of operating an electric bus line and explains the core elements of a solution… By Frank Muehlon. ABB E-Mobility Infrastructure Solutions. Fuente | Source: ABB Review 4/09.


Foto cortesía de/ Image courtesy of: ElectriCity

In line with the Swedish government’s vision that Sweden should be climate neutral by 2050, public transport company Västtrafik expects to have electrified all city traffic in Västra Götaland by 2030. Volvo Buses and ABB are helping to realize that aim with the supply of 157 new electric buses and supporting charging infrastructure to bus operator Transdev.

Starting in 2020, 157 new Volvo electric buses will start operating on the streets of Gothenburg, Mölndal and Partille, powered by charging infrastructure solutions from market leading provider, ABB. This landmark announcement represents an important step towards achieving a sustainable public transport solution for the 180 million trips made by bus in the region each year.

With services scheduled to commence in December 2020, the new electrified lines will mean a total of 220 electric buses to transport Gothenburg’s residents and visitors by the end of the year.

19 new high-power electric chargers will be installed during the second half of 2020 before the new buses go into operation, and another two stations are planned for the future.

The buses in Gothenburg, Mölndal and Partille will be charged by 450 kW high power Panto Down chargers from ABB. A modular solution based on OppCharge, an open interface for direct current (DC) electric bus charging, the solution offers high-power charging via an automated rooftop connection. ABB will supply a complete solution that includes both the charging stations and all the necessary grid connection hardware via ABB’s cable distribution cabinets.

The buses will be recharged in just three to six minutes at charging stations along the routes. The high-power chargers, a part of ABB’s innovative ABB Ability™ offering of digital solutions and services across all business areas, delivers web-enabled connectivity that allows network operators to perform remote monitoring and configuration of charge points and also minimizes downtime and increases efficiency.

With room for 150 passengers and an 88 percent reduction in CO2 when transitioning to electricity, the new buses combine high passenger capacity with low environmental footprint.

Source: ABB

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Endesa X will install two new ultra-fast pantograph charging devices for electric buses on the H16 line in Barcelona, linking the Forum with Zona Franca. The objective is to guarantee that the 22 TMB buses currently circulating on this metropolitan line are kept charged up to deliver excellent service to the bus users.

Today, the H16 line is already equipped with an electric charging station at both ends of the line (Zona Franca-Cisell and UPC-Campus Diagonal Besòs). These were also installed by Endesa three years ago and were pioneers not only in Spain but in the whole of Europe. With the two new pantographs – also installed at the beginning and end of the 12-kilometre route – the charging infrastructure is set to increase at the same pace as the line’s expansion, which has evolved from 20 standard units back in 2014 when the current bus route was launched to the 22 articulated vehicles now.

The ultra-fast pantograph charging system has two parts: the charger, a pillar approximately five metres high, like a lamppost, which is installed at the beginning and end of the line to take advantage of the times when buses are stopped to not interfere with the route’s timetables; and the pantograph, a kind of retractable mechanical arm on the roof of the bus, which lifts and attaches to the charger to begin charging.

Pantographs are ultra-fast systems (500 kW of power) that charge 80% of battery capacity in an estimated five to eight minutes. That is enough charge to undertake the journey again. A complete route normally requires between 40% and 80% of the battery, depending on the conditions.

At night, as the buses have been parked in the garage, the vehicles recover 100% of their battery power in three or four hours, and they begin the next day with their batteries fully charged. Endesa has installed seven fast-charging points (50kW) in TMB’s garages to complement the bus charging, taking advantage of the night time pause in their timetables.

The H16 metropolitan bus line links the Barcelona Forum with Zona Franca, drawing a line parallel to the sea passing through Poblenou, the Olympic Village, Plaça de Catalunya, and Plaça d’Espanya, a total length of about 12 kilometres

Committing to electric mobility

Endesa maintains a firm commitment to sustainable development, aware of the energy challenges facing society. It promotes electricity as the power source that can reconcile ever greater environmental and efficiency demands to the population’s energy requirements. Electric mobility is, therefore, fundamental to the energy transition we are experiencing. Endesa’s response to this paradigm shift in the energy sector is ‘Endesa X’, a new business line in which the company seeks to lead the transition to electrification of Spain’s vehicle fleet, democratising electric mobility. Its first major commitment is the Recharge Infrastructure Plan, which will involve the deployment of more than 8,500 public charging points between 2019 and 2023, with an investment of 65 million euros.

The plan will have two phases:

During the first two years (2019-2020), a network of 2,000 charging points will be set up connecting major towns and cities (with more than 35,000 inhabitants) and highways, covering 15,000 kilometres of main roads and urban areas, ensuring that 75% of the population has access to public transport charging infrastructure in their municipality. This means there will always be a charging point in less than 100 kilometres.

In the second phase (2021-2023), more than 6,500 new public access charging points will be installed (in shopping centres, car parks, hotel chains, service stations, public roads, etc.) to accompany the growth in the electric vehicle market, providing greater infrastructure coverage in urban areas and the main strategic transport nodes. This includes the islands.

Barcelona supports electromobility

This ultra-fast charging system is a key part of Barcelona’s commitment to electrifying its city transport network, as TMB expects to transition to zero emissions on other heavily-used bus lines, such as the V13 and H12, in the medium term.

TMB will continue to prioritise acquisition of the cleanest buses that the industry has to offer to build a fleet composed entirely of electric, hybrid or compressed natural gas vehicles by 2030.

Source: Endesa

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.


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

SAJ Electric