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Nantes invests in fast-charging for buses

Batteries mounted on roofs of the buses will be charged in 60 seconds at selected stops when passengers are getting on and off

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ABB claims it has the fastest flash-charging connection technology in the world
ABB claims it has the fastest flash-charging connection technology in the world

The French city of Nantes is installing electric charging technology for its first fully electric 24-metre buses. The buses will be operated by public transport operator, Société d’Economie Mixte des Transports de l’Agglomération Nantaise (Semitan).

 

Swiss bus manufacturer HESS has chosen ABB’s flash-charging technology for the e-buses and related infrastructure. The order is worth $20 million.

 

ABB claims to have developed the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology. Batteries mounted on the roofs of the Nantes buses will be charged in 20 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at selected stops while passengers are embarking and disembarking.

 

It takes less than one second to connect the bus to the charging point. A further one to five minutes charge at the terminus at the end of the line enables a full recharge of the batteries.

 

ABB’s flash-charging technology and onboard traction equipment, which make the flash-charging possible, are part of its innovative TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) solution.

 

The fleet will run on the Busway Bus Rapid Transit (Line 4) route connecting the historic centre of Nantes with municipalities on the southern side of the River Loire.

 

The new bus system will increase passenger capacity by 35 per cent enabling sustainable transport for about 2,500 commuters every hour.

 

Since the route’s inauguration in 2006, passenger numbers have increased, leading to overcrowded buses. The 24-metre-long, fully electric buses from HESS will be the first of their kind in the world to be equipped with the flash-charging technology, enabling a higher passenger capacity, emission-free public transport and noise reduction. The buses are expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

 

“This revolutionary technology requires no overhead lines and provides silent, zero-emission mass transit as a viable alternative to fossil fuel powered buses, offering a model for future urban transportation,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division.

 

“The project exemplifies our commitment to deliver customer value through technology and innovation, and reinforces our position as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid, in line with our Next Level strategy.”

 

Each of the new e-buses can carry 151 passengers and will be equipped with energy-efficient ABB drivetrain technology, comprising traction and auxiliary converters, permanent magnet traction motors, roof-mounted battery units and energy transfer systems.

 

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