Flash charging technology powers electric buses in seconds

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

A $16m order from Geneva’s public transport operator and Swiss bus manufacturer HESS will provide flash charging and onboard electric vehicle technology for 12 TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) fully electric buses running from Geneva airport.

ABB will deliver and deploy 13 flash-charging stations that take 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 technology was developed by ABB engineers in Switzerland. “We are proud of this breakthrough technology to support Geneva’s vision of providing a silent and zeroemission urban mass transportation for the city. It provides a model for future urban transport and reinforces our vision of sustainable mobility for a better world” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division in a statement. “As part of our Next Level strategy, we are committed to developing customerfocused solutions and technologies that help lower environmental impact.”

The deal follows a successful pilot of an e-bus on the route from Geneva airport to the Palexpo exhibition center. When fully commissioned in 2018, the high-capacity articulated buses will leave at 10-minute intervals and carry over 10,000 passengers a day.

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.


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