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ABB brings TOSA e-bus and flash charging to Davos; first use in Alpine region

For this year’s annual World Economic Forum (23-26 January 2018), the city of Davos and ABB have teamed up in a long-term partnership to provide e-infrastructure for public and private transportation. Davos residents and WEF guests can experience the pioneering TOSA bus (earlier post) for themselves. The award-winning TOSA e-bus, developed by ABB in Switzerland, is already in use in Geneva and will soon be implemented in the French city of Nantes. It can flash charge its battery in just 20 seconds as passengers board and disembark.

In Davos, it will operate on the busy Line 1, running from the tourist center to the hospital. This is the first time TOSA technology is being used in an Alpine region. The idea is to run the system under extreme winter weather conditions; ABB and its project partners expect to gain valuable insights from this pilot project. (Davos on Monday was reportedly experiencing the heaviest snow for the summit since 1999-2000.)

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Top: TOSA flash charging station in Davos. Bottom: Close-up. Click to enlarge.

In addition, electric cars transporting attendees around Davos will be able to recharge their batteries at eight newly installed ABB fast-charging stations.

Collectively, the TOSA e-bus and the charging stations provide a real-world demonstration of state-of-the-art sustainable transportation technologies, which are seeing increased deployment throughout the world as e-mobility becomes the driving force for bringing energy efficiency with low environmental impact to cars, buses, trains, ships and cable cars, ABB said.

The shift to electric vehicles is no longer a question of if, but rather of when and how quickly. EVs are becoming increasingly attractive to motorists. As well as being ecologically responsible, they’re becoming less expensive to buy and maintain.

—ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer

ABB alreadu has more than 6,000 fast-charging stations for elecric vehicles installed in more than 50 countries. At Davos, world leaders will get to see the eight recently installed ABB Terra 53 charging stations in action. The ABB Terra 53 is the best-selling 50 kW DC charging station in Europe and North America, supporting the CCS, CHAdeMO and simultaneous 43 kW AC charging standards.

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The all-electric TOSA e-bus at Davos received the prestigious Watt d’Or 2018 in the energy efficient mobility category from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. The TOSA technology was jointly developed in Switzerland by ABB in partnership with Transport Publics Genevois (tpg), the Office de Promotion of Industries et des Technologies (OPI), the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG), and bus manufacturer Carrosserie HESS.

The same TOSA technology in use at Davos has been powering buses on Geneva’s bus line 23 airport route. They use overhead contacts that connect at selected stops along their routes to replenish their batteries in as little as 20 seconds, recharging as passengers board and exit. The environmentally friendly system in Geneva could ultimately cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 tons annually.

In motorsport, through its recently announced partnership with the Formula E electric-car racing organization, ABB will help to refine the design and functionality of electric vehicles and infrastructure as well as associated digital platforms.

ABB also supplies the railway sector with innovative and energy-efficient technologies such as a traction transformer and converter made primarily in Switzerland. One example is the Rhaetian Railway that shuttles between Landquart and Davos.

ABB is also enabling e-mobility in ocean-going tankers, freighters and passenger ships. There, ABB’s Azipod propulsion systems power vessels with steerable, high-efficiency electric-drive propellers, which make ships significantly more maneuverable and can reduce their need for on-board fossil fuels by 40% or more.

ABB motors power the steepest funicular cable railway in the world, which opened in the Swiss Alpine village of Stoos in December 2017. The ABB motors, which deliver a total output of 2.3 megawatts, enable the cable railway to carry up to 1,500 people per hour in each direction over its 1.7 kilometer route. ABB has also provided state-of-the-art motors and drives for a newly opened, record-setting gondola system carrying 580 passengers an hour to the Zugspitze—Germany’s highest peak.

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