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Geneva leads the 15-second charge

It takes a second to connect and onboard batteries can then be charged in 15 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at the bus stop

The fastest charge in the world, according to ABB
The fastest charge in the world, according to ABB

ABB has secured its first order to deploy ultrafast charging technology for electric buses in Geneva, Switzerland.


The $16m order from Geneva’s public transport operator, Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), and domestic bus manufacturer Hess will see ABB deliver and deploy flash charging as well as on-board electric vehicle technology for 12 fully electric buses (e-buses).


As a result, 13 flash-charging stations will be positioned on the ‘Line 23’ bus route which runs from Geneva Airport. The technology takes less than a second to connect the e-bus to the charging point and the onboard batteries can then be charged in 15 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at the bus stop, which according to ABB is the world’s fastest. The order also comprises three terminal and four depot feeding stations which will enable a full recharge of the batteries in four- to five minutes.


The technology was developed by ABB engineers in Switzerland. “We are proud of this breakthrough technology to support Geneva’s vision of providing a silent and zero-emission urban mass transportation for the city,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s power grids division. “It provides a model for future urban transport and reinforces our vision of sustainable mobility for a better world.”


The decision to deploy the so-called TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) on Line 23 was undertaken after a successful pilot of the first such e-bus on the route from Geneva airport to the Palexpo exhibition centre.


The Line 23 bus route will be slightly modified in order to provide a fast connection to Praille-Acacias-Vernet, a new suburb being built to accommodate 11,000 flats and office space for about 11,000 employees.


When fully commissioned in 2018, the high-capacity articulated buses will depart from both terminuses at 10-minute intervals during peak times. The line carries more than 10,000 passengers a day and the replacement of diesel buses by TOSA e-buses can help save as much as 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the company said.


As part of a separate award by HESS, ABB will supply 12 flexible drivetrain solutions for the buses including integrated traction and auxiliary converters, roof-mounted battery units and energy transfer systems (ETS), as well as permanent magnet traction motors. Both contracts include five-year maintenance and service agreements.



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