The Australian city of Brisbane wants to procure 60 electric buses. The vehicles will be built by the manufacturers Hess from Switzerland and Volgren from Australia and will be quickly charged with ABB flash charging technology.
The electric articulated buses with a tram design will each accommodate between 150 and 180 passengers. The vehicles feature two joints, and thus three vehicle parts, adding up for a total length of 24.4 meters. Passengers can board and disembark via four large doors and will also benefit on board from a free WLAN and USB port for charging their mobile devices.
The Swiss manufacturer Carrosserie Hess specializes in long articulated buses. Versions with battery-electric drive are used in Nantes, among other places, and only a few weeks ago St.Gallen ordered 17 units of the catenary version.
In the press release, the city administration has not specified costs. Australian media reported a total of 190 million Australian dollars, the equivalent of 117 million euros. Criticism was levelled at Brisbane’s mayor Adrian Schrinner since the order volume is more than twice as high as planned. According to Schrinner, however, the originally estimated 94 million dollars were for a diesel fleet. Now the electric technology is available and the acquisition costs will be compensated in the long run by lower maintenance and operating costs, apart from the obvious advantages of reduced noise and zero air pollution.
The higher sum already includes the costs for the charging infrastructure. ABB’s fast chargers are to be used here, which charge the batteries with their flash charging in just six minutes at the terminal stops. The vehicle designers emphasise that they imposed high standard requirements in all technology for monitoring both the buses and the charging infrastructure that feeds back to the central control centre. Also in the information feeding back to the central control centre is data to monitor speed, passenger capacity and frequency of operation. This allows for especially detailed analysis in a quick overview for maintaining and extending the quality and efficiency of services.
The first of these vehicles will be built for testing in 2020, and regularly scheduled service in Brisbane with all 60 electric buses is scheduled to start at the end of 2023 – provided the prototype is convincing in the test phase.
with additional reporting from Carrie Hampel
– ADVERTISEMENT –