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Toshiba to deliver fast-charge electric buses in Tokyo

Asahi Shimbun. Toshiba Corp. will retrofit small buses owned by Tokyo’s Minato Ward with its SciB lithium-ion cells and electric motors to produce fast-charge battery-electric buses. Toshiba is planing on a 5-minute recharge with the battery state of charge at 50%.

To keep the battery level above 50 percent, the buses will return to a garage for a recharge after traveling roughly a modest 12 kilometers (7.5 miles). For this reason, the ward plans to use the vehicles over a short route to make rounds of residential areas.

The ward plans to start test runs by the end of this fiscal year and begin full-fledged operations from next fiscal year.

(A hat-tip to Roger!)



Sounds like they need to put a charger on the bus route, OR give it s 30 second boost at every (or many) bus stop(s).


This is a good application for these batteries. There is talk of autonomous cars, how about small autonomous buses? Some complain about the cost of union driver wages, which I think misses the point, so let's make the small buses drive themselves.


Good point mahonj...that's probably how it will be eventually done because it would make more sense.


These batteries look to be a good match for the overhead busbar charging concept.  Add some sort of load-levelling at the charger and it could be a winner.


Yes, an overhead busbar charging station at every 10 Km or so would do it.


EP is correct. An overhead busbar would eliminate the need to return to a garage. Even a planned five minute layover at begin and end route points would be better than garage return.


A thirty second charge at each bus stop could keep the battery topped off and eliminate the need for a delay at the end of each run.  That would help in keeping schedules during rush periods.


I am more in favor of a charge bar coming up from the ground, but that is just a configuration detail. If the buses were autonomous, they could park and charge whenever needed and still make the schedule.

Computers, GPS, networks and AI could monitor and track traffic conditions and plan accordingly. Computers are much faster and able to handle much more information to come up with an optimal solution. Then some people will not have to worry about driver salaries.


It would be nice to be able to remove the overhead electric wiring in my city - replaced with overhead busbars at select stops. Many times the driver has to climb out and reset the contacts - as they pop out when buses hit pot holes and bumps.

I'd like to see cost estimates for these Toshiba equipped buses.


What city is that Reel? I haven't seen the overhead wires in a long time and was wondering if any cities were still using them.

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