|Powertrain components of the PRIMOVE bus. Click to enlarge.|
German regional transit operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) is introducing a pair of electric buses with Bombardier PRIMOVE wireless charging technology (earlier post) in a research project serving the city of Mannheim, Germany.
During the “PRIMOVE Mannheim” research project, the electric buses will recharge wirelessly while passengers get on and off the vehicles at bus stops along the inner city route 63. Both e-buses, built by the Swiss manufacturer Carrosserie HESS AG, are also equipped with the new Bombardier MITRAC e-bus powertrain for city buses. In addition, an electric van equipped with wireless PRIMOVE technology will be tested as a RNV service vehicle.
The MITRAC eBus portfolio includes two different propulsion and control configurations for three vehicle types ranging from 12 m to 18 m in length. These buses can be equipped with platform wheel drive, where each wheel is powered separately, or with a platform central motor, where both wheels on the rear axle are powered by a single unit. MITRAC equipment is also used in rail vehicles from Bombardier as well as in vehicles of other manufacturers, offering high reliability, modular design, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance.
Bombardier’s PRIMOVE charging technology is based on inductive energy transfer and comprises two sets of components: wayside components that are buried underground and onboard components that are fitted onto the vehicle frame. Both sets are designed to enable maximum structural integration, as well as for energy transfer at high power and efficiency. The charging process begins as soon as the vehicle completely covers the charging segment.
The project partners will initially test the PRIMOVE technology during a testing and approval phase to collect information for the subsequent scheduled passenger operations, as well as for RNV’s internal operations and its training of personnel. Innovative features of the project include the planned optimization of the charging process by evaluating real-time data on the vehicle’s position on the route and its battery’s level of charging.
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s department for vehicle systems technology will provide the project with scientific support under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gratzfeld. The research will focus on an energy simulation that demonstrates the entire power flow in the electric buses and at the inductive charging stations.
This will allow the battery size and the charging infrastructure to be adapted to each other and determine the demands on the power supply network. The institute’s work will also confirm the greater energy efficiency of the system compared to conventional propulsion methods. A measurement programme will verify the results of the simulations when the electric vehicles enter passenger service.
Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) will fund the project with €3.3 million (US$4.3 million).
The Government considers the promotion of alternative propulsion technologies a high priority. We want to turn Germany into a leading e-mobility supplier and market. The Ministry of Transport’s wide-ranging approach to R&D supports the introduction into the market of innovative drive systems and new concepts for all modes of transport. It is particularly important to harness the benefits of e-mobility in public transport, where new technologies are tested in an integrated system of vehicles, transport infrastructure and maintenance sites. Our research and pilot projects are setting in motion today the solutions of tomorrow.—State Secretary at BMVBS