ABB announced on Tuesday that it has brought two new fast chargers to Luxembourg City’s central station as part of the rollout of a new plug-in hybrid bus system in the city.
Instead of plugging in with a cable, the system utilizes a pantograph — which is the flexible hinged assembly that enables the stationary charger to connect to the bus — to deliver 150 kW of power to the bus during the 3–6 minute layovers that bookend the routes.
These new chargers are novel, as they make use of the OppCharge open interface for automated charging of electric buses … from any manufacturer. These ABB fast chargers are also backed by the cloud, which enables remote diagnostics and management, with capability for over-the-air updates to maximize the value and insights customers get from the units.
In addition to being smart, these chargers were designed with hardware flexibility in mind. What? Yeah, you heard that right. These things are built to be able to scale up because they are modular, allowing for module upgrades to 300 kW and even 450 kW if (or when) needed.
As cities look to the future for transportation planning, this type of flexibility ensures that the chargers can support the move to fully electric buses, which are sure to come with larger batteries and faster charging speeds.
The City of Luxembourg is looking to the future and sees this installation as yet another step in a long journey towards the low-carbon, sustainable future its leaders envision. First Deputy Mayor of the City of Luxembourg Sam Tanson said:
“This ambitious pioneering project represents the starting point in our endeavor to a zero emission urban bus system for the City of Luxembourg in the near future.”
Speaking to the flexibility of the system, this particular installation makes use of 5 electric hybrid buses from Volvo that, admittedly, will not make full use of the system — which could support a fully electric bus fleet.
On the upside, the fact that these chargers are now installed and have the capability to upgrade to support faster speeds means an upgrade to a fully electric bus fleet in the future would be more affordable … so there’s that.
ABB has a long history with fast chargers, with around 5,000 fast chargers installed around the world for passenger vehicles, and it is now applying that experience to electric bus charging. ABB has commissioned similar OppCharge opportunity chargers for hybrid and fully electric buses previously in Luxembourg, Sweden, and Belgium, with more orders in the works.
To better understand this particular installation, here’s a bit more detail about the Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid buses utilized in this installation:
- Can be powered by electricity for up to 70% of operating time
- Quiet and exhaust-free when running on electricity
- 60% lower energy consumption* than a corresponding diesel bus
- 75 to 90% lower emissions of carbon dioxide* compared with a conventional diesel bus, depending on the fuel used
- Equipped with an electric motor, batteries and a small diesel engine
- The batteries are recharged in 3-6 minutes at the route’s end stations *Estimated value on a city bus route of 10 kilometers, compared to a diesel bus Euro 6.
Images Credit: ABB
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