A new high-capacity flash charger has been developed by company ABB to very quickly recharge electric buses while they stop to pick up and let off passengers. The new system is able to give a 400KW boost at selected stops in only 15 seconds. At the end of the bus route, a further 3 to 4 minute charge is all that’s required to fully recharge the bus battery.
A pilot project will be carried out between the airport and the international exhibition center in the Swiss city of Geneva. It’s the first time the system has been deployed on a large capacity electric bus. These Geneva buses carry 135 passengers.
The pilot project is being undertaken using the city’s public transport company (TGP), in collaboration with the Office for the Promotion of industries and Technologies (OPI), and the Geneva power utility SIG.
It is envisaged that with the system, this kind of heavily used urban transport will no longer have to rely on overhead poer lines, which should allow for more flexible, cost-effective, efficient public transport. It will also help to reduce pollution and noise.
The electricity used to power the TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) system comes from fully renewable hydro power. The charging system utilizes a laser-controlled moving arm, which connects to the bus via the busstop shelters.
Sounds like a pretty innovative new system. If the pilot program works out well, no doubt many other cities will be seeing similar electric bus systems put in place in coming years.