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Clean Transport ABB Flash-Charging Bus — More Details

Published on June 14th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


ABB Flash-Charging Bus — More Details

A couple weeks ago, we wrote about ABB’s new ultrafast flash-charging bus. At the time, I noted some reader speculation about some of the details: “I’m betting a hybrid ultracapacitor and battery pack….

I sent the following questions over to an ABB rep as a result: “ Can you say if this is using a hybrid capacitor + battery pack? And could you (or the CTO) provide a bit more information on the technical details of the system that allow for the superfast charge?”

Due to my being out of service for a week, I couldn’t relay the answer to you all for awhile. But now that I’m going strong again, here it is:

In the Flash Feeding Station we have supercaps, no battery. Charging of supercaps at 50kVA (400VAC) grid side. Discharging (bus charging) at 400kW (500VDC) bus side.

By means of using supercaps, we avoid using a MV grid connection. Instead, we just need the main LV (3phase 400V AC). The benefits are: reduction of the connection fee to the grid; reduction of energy cost by providing peak shaving (SmartGrid aspect); eases deployment in city center (so easy to find the main).

Satisfied? More questions? :D

Want more ABB news? Check out:

  1. ABB To Set Up $130 Million HVDC Link In Finland To Facilitate Renewable Energy Transmission
  2. Big Boost For Renewable Energy In Store: ABB Develops “Game Changing” Hybrid HVDC Breaker
  3. Offshore Wind Power: ABB Wins $1 Billion North Sea Contract
  4. ABB Wins $225 Million Order For Two South African PV Plants
  5. GM And ABB Demonstrate Microgrid Backup With Old Volt Batteries

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is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Opbrid

    I talked to the engineers there, the bus uses LTO batteries. The flash charge transfers about 1.8kWh, enough to go about a km or so. They also have route end chargers for a 5 minute charge for much more range, but no supercaps in the route end chargers. I’m not sure all the infrastructure for the flash charger is worth it, I’m betting on longer route end and bus depot charging to win.

  • eject

    so the bus does not use super caps. they use supercaps to buffer the energy burst charging the batteries in the bus allwoing them to connect the charching station via bog standard grid connections

    • Ashleigh

      I believe the ABB rep is speaking in regards to the charging station,
      not the bus itself. ABB doesn’t make buses or the batteries to power
      electric buses. What they do make are charging stations for electric
      vehicles. If you want to know more about the design of the bus itself you should contact The Office for the Promotion of Industries and Technologies in Geneva. Go to

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