ABB has won a contract to supply electric bus charging infrastructure for a fleet of Volvo electric buses that will be operated by Transdev Blazefield from 2018. ABB will supply three HVC 300P charging stations and an electricity substation for installation at a bus station serving Harrogate, Yorkshire.
The contract is seen as significant as it is the UK's first electric bus project to use OppCharge for ‘opportunity charging’, where buses are charged while they wait at bus stops at the end of the line equipped with fast-charging infrastructure. Alex Hornby CEO of Transdev Blazefield, said: “The fast chargers from ABB will play an important role in Transdev’s long-term vision for Harrogate to become a low-emission bus town that adopts world-class electric bus technology.
Ultimately, the vision is about reducing congestion, improving freedom of movement and creating a better environment across Harrogate and beyond.”
Charging will take only three to six minutes, eliminating the need to wait for long charging periods. This development is the latest technology that Transdev Blazefield has introduced to reduce emissions and improve other aspects of bus travel. As well as enabling zero emission public transport, opportunity charging allows the size of batteries on board the electric buses to be reduced, cutting down the overall weight of the buses and so improving energy efficiency of the bus network.
Daan Nap, Global Sales Director of Electric Bus Charging at ABB, said: “This contract builds on our recent successes in other countries and introduces the OppCharge interface in the UK, a development that will help to further accelerate the uptake of electric buses by allowing the same charging equipment to be used by different brands of buses.”
The buses will connect automatically to ABB’s HVC 300P chargers, which feature an overhead charging mast that charges via the buses’ on-board pantographs. A key advantage is that the HVC 300P units are compatible with the OppCharge interface, so will be compatible with other brands and models of electric buses that use opportunity charging.