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Opportunity charging electric bus using PRIMOVE inductive charging from Bombardier in service in Germany

A 12m Solaris battery-electric bus with electrical traction and on-board power supply equipment from Vossloh Kiepe has entered passenger service with the Braunschweiger Verkehrs-AG as the first of five such buses. For the first time, the modular system from Vossloh Kiepe has been combined with the PRIMOVE inductive charging system from Bombardier (earlier post).

The PRIMOVE inductive charging system system is designed with an output of 200 kW, and uses an undercarriage pantograph-like mechanism lowered above the in-ground charging pad.

Undercarriage charging pad. Click to enlarge.

The vehicle is operated on line 19, a 12 km (7.5-mile) circular line, within the scope of the project “EMIL” (Elektromobilität mittels induktiver Ladung, electric mobility via inductive charging). From October, four 18 m articulated electric buses will follow.

The first opportunity-charging battery bus with traction equipment from Vossloh Kiepe. Photo: Braunschweiger Verkehrs AG. Click to enlarge.

Vossloh Kiepe has delivered all the electrical traction and on-board power supply equipment for the battery-electric bus. Besides the power electronics, the equipment includes the 240 kW traction motor and the energy management system. In addition to the provided inductive charging system an additional charging unit for plug-based charging with up to 90 kW has been installed.

The Solaris 8.9m and 12m battery buses have been manufactured up to now for overnight charging.

Vossloh Kiepe used its standard modular components for electric buses for the contactless intermediate charging concept (opportunity charging), in which the electric buses are charged at special stopping places during their dwell time. This modular design can be applied to nearly all variants of electric buses, e.g. hybrid buses, battery buses, fuel cell buses and trolleybuses, and comprises:

  • propulsion systems for 9 m, 12 m, 18 m and 24 m long vehicles;
  • energy storage units (batteries and/or double-layer capacitors);
  • power supply systems (diesel-generator set, fuel cell, current collector, pantograph, plug and/or inductive energy transfer);
  • integration of various battery recharging systems;
  • on-board power supply systems (AC 400V / DC 24V); and
  • adaptive energy management.

The system-overlapping interaction of the energy storage unit and the power supply system with the power train and the recharging unit is optimized by Vossloh Kiepe’s energy management system.

Illustrated overview of EMIL project. (German captions.)



A 200 KW Wireless charging system is a good step forward towards future 400+ KW units and could recharge BEVs very quickly.

Good cooperation between Bombardier Primove and Vossloh Kiepe for a worthwhile project.

Many city e-buses (various size) will be in operation in a few years followed by the driverless version.


Wondered why Busbaar were trumpeting their pantograph could charge at 500~1000kW when there was no indication that the local grid and batteries could handle such a rate. Stating the advantages over current inductive technology perhaps.

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