Volvo has received an order for 11 electric hybrid buses and 2 ABB automated electric bus fast-chargers to the city of Namur in Belgium with public transport authority and operator TEC. This is the largest order to date for the company’s electric bus system.
TEC is buying the bus system as a turn-key solution. Volvo takes full responsibility for vehicle servicing, battery maintenance as well as maintenance of the standard-based charging stations for a fixed monthly cost. Start in-service is planned towards the end of 2016. Every year the TEC Group transports more than 250 million passengers.
Volvo’s 7900 Electric Hybrid (earlier post) features an all-electric range of approximately seven kilometers (4.35 miles). The batteries are fast-charged in just a few minutes at the end stops and also by the energy generated whenever the vehicle brakes. The buses also have a 4-cylinder, 5-liter Volvo D5F diesel engine, which increases reach and flexibility.
Total energy consumption is 60% percent lower—estimated on a city bus route of 10 km, compared to a Euro 6 diesel bus; CO2 emissions are 75–90% lower, depending on the fuel used.
ABB bus chargers. The automated fast chargers play an important role in opportunity charging, where instead of returning the bus to a depot to connect to an individual charger, the bus is recharged in minutes each time it arrives at an end station. This allows the bus to have a smaller, lighter battery pack which increases passenger capacity. Because they are not returned to the depot for charging, the buses are able to run more routes, improving service for commuters. These benefits reduce the total cost of ownership for the city.
ABB’s fast charger modular design, with powers of 150 kW, 300 kW or 450 kW, accommodates any electric bus system. The fast-charging solutions are based on IEC 61851-23, the international standard for fast charging electric vehicles. This ensures the appropriate safety systems are in place, the electrical design is in accordance with regulations, and the systems architecture and working principles are supported by a wider automotive community in the future.
In addition to the two fast chargers, ABB’s solution includes transformers, switchgear and service.