Hybricon AB and Umeå Municipality have placed an Arctic Whisper fast rechargeable electric-drive bus in service running on Umeå’s busiest line. The first public installation of the Opbrid Bůsbaar charging station was inaugurated with a ribbon cutting by Umeå Municipality representatives. The Arctic Whisper is the first in a fleet of affordable, sustainable, low-carbon urban buses for Umeå City. (Earlier post.)
|Fast-charging at the Bůsbaar. Click to enlarge.|
The Arctic Whisper’s batteries are fast-charged by the Opbrid Bůsbaar—an overhead, pantograph-based fast-charging station for buses—for 5-10 minutes at the end of its route to achieve nearly 100% all-electric operation but with the reliability of diesel. This will extend the all-electric range of the hybrid bus from 2 hours to 18 hours. And, since this is a serial hybrid bus with a backup diesel generator, the bus can continue running on bio-diesel in case of brown-outs, traffic jams, or very cold weather.
The development of Umeå’s super fast rechargeable electric buses began 13 December 2010 when the municipality of Umeå decided to invest in an early development stage project with Hybricon AB (Sweden), E-Traction NV (Holland) and Opbrid SL (Spain). This included the development of a charging station and two fast rechargeable electric hybrid buses. The first bus was delivered after 6 weeks for initial winter testing. The charging system went live in mid-summer, and now, 11 months after the project commenced, public operation has begun with line 1 from Umedalen to the center of town.
Hybricon achieved this rapid progress from concept to public service by mating the Opbrid Bůsbaar fast charging station to two existing e-Traction hybrid buses, and adding additional lithium batteries for fast charging.