European EV Bus Manufacturers Agree On Open Interface For Charging

A number of prominent bus manufacturers in Europe — Volvo, Solaris, Irizar, and VDL — have agreed to work towards the achievement of interoperability of their electric buses with a common charging infrastructure, according to a new press release.

A common charging infrastructure in this case refers to that provided by ABB, Siemens, and Heliox, etc. The idea here is that interoperability of charging infrastructure will ease some of the problems accompanying the adoption of electric buses, and thereby speed up the rate of adoption.

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The new agreement is an entirely voluntary one, not in any way binding.

The press release provides more:

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.

…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.

The agreement is open to other participants, and any companies (manufacturers, charging infrastructure suppliers, etc) interested are reportedly invited to join.

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