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The electric bus – charged in 15 seconds

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European technology giant ABB says it has developed a new technology that will help power the world’s first high-capacity flash charging electric bus system – meaning a fully loaded bus can get 15-second “top up” charges when it stops to pick up and unload passengers.ABB says it is working together with Geneva’s public transport company (TGP), the Office for the Promotion of Industries and Technologies (OPI) and the Geneva power utility SIG on what it calls the TOSA electric bus system pilot project – which will run  between Geneva airport and the city’s international exhibition center, Palexpo.The new boost charging technology will be deployed for the first time on a large capacity electric bus, carrying as many as 135 passengers. The bus will be charged directly at selected stops with a 15-second energy boost while the passengers enter and leave the bus, based on a new type of automatic flash-charging mechanism. The system uses a laser-controlled moving arm, which connects to an overhead receptacle for charging at bus shelters, instead of the usual trolley poles to overhead lines.“Through flash charging, we are able to pilot a new generation of electric buses for urban mass transport that no longer relies on overhead lines,” said Claes Rytoft, ABB’s acting Chief Technology Officer. “This project will pave the way for switching to more flexible, cost-effective, public transport infrastructure while reducing pollution and noise.”

TOSA stands for Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation. It is billed as a zero-carbon-emission solution as the electricity used comes entirely from clean hydro power, at least in Geneva. ABB says the charging time is so quick that it does not interfere with the bus schedule and does not need overhead lines while providing greater route flexibility. The system uses a laser-controlled moving arm, which connects to an overhead receptacle for charging at bus shelters, instead of the usual trolley poles to overhead lines.

ABB says onboard batteries can be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kilowatt boost at selected stops. At the end of the bus line a 3 to 4 minute boost enables the full recharge of the batteries.According to its press release, an innovative electrical drive system means energy from the roof-mounted charging equipment can be stored in compact batteries, along with the vehicle’s braking energy, powering both the bus and its auxiliary services, such as interior lighting.

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  • wideEyedPupil

    Super-capacitors at work here? They’re all ready using super-capacitors in China to charge buses in seconds.