New carbon-free public bus charges in 15 seconds

New carbon-free public bus that charges in 15 seconds

9:11 AM, 7th October 2016
New carbon-free public bus that charges in 15 seconds
This electric bus will have a capacity of carrying as many as 135 passengers. The bus will be charged directly at selected stops with a 15-second energy boost while the passengers enter and leave the bus.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: ABB Ltd, Geneva's public transport operator TGP, the Office of Promotion of Industries and Technologies, and the Geneva power Utility SIG have joined forces to develop electric buses that need just 15 seconds of charge to run a whole 2 km.

TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Systeme Alimentation) is a zero-carbon-emission solution as the electricity (power) used comes totally from clean hydro power. The charging time is so quick that it does not interfere with the bus schedule and improves the urban environment and landscape as it does not need overhead lines while providing greater route flexibility. The system uses a laser-controlled moving arm, which connects to an overhead receptacle for charging at bus shelters, instead of the usual trolley poles to overhead lines.

In 2017, Geneva one of the world’s leading cities will have these new line of buses that will likely change the face of public transport in its recognized global center of diplomacy, a financial hub and a technology and innovation center.

At first sight, these buses look like the regular electric trolley buses one sees in most European cities. But look towards the roof of one of these buses and you will see that instead of trolley poles - that connect to overhead lines - there's a moving arm on the bus that connects to an overhead receptacle, which is in turn integrated with a bus terminal.

This electric bus will have a capacity of carrying as many as 135 passengers. The bus will be charged directly at selected stops with a 15-second energy boost while the passengers enter and leave the bus, based on a new type of automatic flash-charging mechanism. The pilot project runs between Geneva airport and the city’s international exhibition center, Palexpo.

The 15-second flash charging technology developed by ABB, has the potential to transform urban public transport and will be relevant to countries such as India which are trying to balance infrastructure growth with sustainability. India currently operates on slow charging platforms but for buses and in order to expand infrastructure for electric vehicles, fast charging is a must.

TOSA importance in India 

Transport represents India's greenhouse gas emissions for a tenth and road transport accounts for 95 percent of that.

According to Times of India report, a study by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), one diesel bus replaced by an electric bus on Indian roads will lead to a CO2 reduction of around 25 tonnes a year. India has 150,000 diesel buses. If all of these are replaced by electric buses, that amounts to reduce 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year in India.

This technology will then empower - quickly - the creation of smart cities; Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision is to have 100 smart cities in India. This will also boost India's Paris Climate Accord goals. Under the Accord, India has committed to reduce emission intensity by as much as 33 percent, by 2030. India has also agreed to have 40 percent of its total installed electric power capacity come from non-fossil-fuel-based energy resources by 2030.

"We see a big trend towards urbanization which causes a lot of traffic congestion. One of the solutions to that is people travelling together on public transport, and the need for that to be emission free. TOSA is a system that meets those needs and it is a technology that offers flexibility. This is a way to be economically viable, green and energy efficient," said Bruce Warner, Global Product Specialist for rail and urban transportation, ABB.

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