ABB has unveiled a new automated fast-charger system for electric buses — a system that will potentially allow electric buses operating in urban environments to run 24/7, only being taken out of service occasionally for maintenance.
The basic idea behind the new system is the utilization of pantograph-based automated rooftop connection — one that could be fairly easily put into service on existing bus lines. The idea is short periods of charging — 4-6 minutes at a time, etc — at depots, terminals, bus stops, etc.
For those wondering, the new system is indeed compatible with the IEC 61851-23 fast-charger standard, which means that wide-scale deployment over the coming years shouldn’t be an issue in Europe (and elsewhere).
Green Car Congress provides more information:
The modular design offering 150 kW, 300 kW or 450 kW of charging power provides any city bus with enough energy in only a few minutes to run its inner-city route continuously throughout the day.
The robust automated connection is based on a pantograph: a proven system used commonly on trains, trams and metro’s, but mounted in inverted position on a stylish infrastructure pole. When a bus arrives at the charging stop, wireless communication will be established between bus and charger and the pantograph will come down automatically. After all safety checks are performed the system will provide the bus with a powerful fast recharge. (A Combo 2 connector can also serve to link bus with charger.)
ABB’s automated solution can be used with any electric bus provided it has the correct rooftop interface. The inverted pantograph connection makes it possible to use a low-cost and low weight interface on the roof of the bus, consisting of 4 simple contact bars with a weight of around 10 kg. This allows manufacturers of electric buses to reduce the weight of their vehicle, improve the energy efficiency, and design a lower cost electric bus.
ABBAS showcased the new fast-charger electric bus system at Busworld 2015 show in Kortrijk, Belgium.