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ABB's flash charging technology to power electric buses in Geneva

CTBR Staff Writer Published 18 July 2016

ABB is rolling out a charging technology that reaches full power in 15 seconds for electric buses in Geneva, Switzerland.

The orders totaling over $16m from Geneva’s public transport operator Transports Publics Genevois (TPG) and Swiss bus manufacturer HESS will see ABB provide flash charging and onboard electric vehicle technology for 12 TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) fully electric buses, which will run on Line 23, linking Geneva’s airport with suburban Geneva.

The electric buses can help save about 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, when compared with existing diesel buses.

ABB will deliver and deploy 13 flash-charging stations that take less than 1 second to connect the bus to the charging point.

The onboard batteries can then be charged in 15 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at the bus stop. The company said an additional 4 to 5 minute charge at the terminus at the end of the line allows a full recharge of the batteries.

Claimed to be world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology, it was developed by ABB’s engineers in Switzerland. 

The decision to deploy TOSA has been taken after the first pilot run of an electric bus between Geneva Airport and Palexpo exhibition center.

As part of a separate award by HESS, ABB will deliver 12 flexible drivetrain solutions for the buses including traction and auxiliary converters, roof-mounted battery units and energy transfer systems. The company will also deliver permanent magnet traction motors.

Both the contracts include five-year maintenance and service agreements.

ABB power grids division president Claudio Facchin said: “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. It provides a model for future urban transport and reinforces our vision of sustainable mobility for a better world.

“As part of our Next Level strategy, we are committed to developing customer-focused solutions and technologies that help lower environmental impact.”

Geneva transport and environment state councilor Luc Barthassat said: "The deployment of TOSA on Line 23 is the result of the collaborative efforts of the public and private sector partners who invested in this vision.

“This innovative project opens the way for the future of mobility, by providing a sustainable and environmentally-friendly mass transport solution for the well-being of our community."