ABB, Volvo form global partnership for electric, hybrid bus fast charging

ABB Volvo electric buses hybrid buses
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ABB has teamed with Volvo Buses, one of the world’s leading bus manufacturers, to co-develop and commercialize electric and hybrid buses with open standards-based DC fast charging systems, ABB announced recently.

The cooperation creates a citywide standardized charging system for electric and electric hybrid buses that can charge buses quickly through an automatic rooftop connection system at bus stops or through cabled charging systems overnight.

This approach, based on internationally accepted standards, enables maximum re-use of existing e-mobility technologies, thereby ensuring a rapid deployment of urban e-mobility. The first joint project for Luxembourg’s public transportation system is planned for 2015.

Volvo’s new electric hybrid bus, which reduces fuel consumption by 75 percent compared with conventional diesel buses, will debut at the IAA exhibition in Hannover, Germany, in September.

ABB and Volvo will contribute with their respective expertise in power grids and e-buses to further develop e-bus fast-charging standards such as communications protocols for infrastructure, electrical grids and e-buses.

An electric bus-charging standard will be based largely on the recently adopted global DC fast-charging standards for passenger cars, guaranteeing safety and helping stimulate investment, long-term commitment and increased adoption of clean mobility.

“We are very pleased to partner with a global transportation industry leader that shares our vision of e-mobility in line with ABB’s commitment of power and productivity for a better world,” said Pekka Tiitinen, head of ABB’s discrete automation and motion division. “Urbanization is at a historic high and is stretching transport infrastructure of cities around the world. Our collaboration will help support sustainable and cost-efficient transportation solutions to meet rising commuter demand.”

The partnership is focused squarely on standardization of automatic e-bus fast charging, including the communications protocol between the infrastructure charging solution and e-bus, the electrical interface and specifications for the rooftop automatic connection system (ACS).

Håkan Agnevall, president of Volvo Buses, said the company is delighted to partner with ABB.
“Together, we have a complete and competitive offer to cities around the world that want to switch to a sustainable public transport system,” Agnevall said. “Electric hybrid buses and full-electric buses are tomorrow’s solution for urban public transport.”

Volvo Buses launched its first hybrid bus in 2009 and has delivered nearly 1,600 hybrids to 21 countries. Its first fully electric bus will be launched in June 2015 as part of the ElectriCity project in Gothenburg, Sweden.

ABB has delivered more than 1,500 DC fast-charging systems for passenger vehicles worldwide since 2010, rolling out charging networks for automotive, utility, government and retail customers including nationwide networks in the Netherlands, Estonia and Denmark.

The first joint project will be the implementation of Volvo Electric Hybrids and ABB’s automatic e-bus chargers in the Luxembourg public transport system, where as many as 12 Volvo electric hybrid buses operated by Sales-Lentz will be running on existing lines by 2015.

The project is integrated into Luxembourg’s Mobility Network linking mobility projects in the western European country to exploit synergies and develop common visions for the mobility of the future.

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