Siemens Smart Infrastructure has received an order from Go Bus, New Zealand’s largest bus operator, to equip two bus depots with charging technology for electric buses. These are two separate Go Bus orders in Auckland and Christchurch.
In total, Siemens will supply DC rapid charging systems for 34 buses (25 in Christchurch and nine in Auckland) with a total capacity of approximately 3.7 megawatts to New Zealand. The charging system at the Christchurch bus depot consists of twelve Sicharge UC 200 charging centers, which can supply 25 parking spaces with up to 200 kW via cable. Five such systems are planned for Auckland, plus two Sicharge UC 100 stations with a charging capacity of up to 125 kW. The nine vehicles are part of a new electric bus airport connection in Auckland. Operation is scheduled to start in early 2021.
Both solutions offer depot charging in accordance with CCS and operate independently of manufacturers. This is also necessary in the case of the Go-Bus depots, as the transport company relies on Yutong e-buses as well as vehicles from the New Zealand company Global Bus Ventures. The Sicharge UC family is designed specifically for flexible expansion and modernization, says Siemens. The technology supports battery voltages of 10 to 1,000 volts and thus offers room for future bus batteries with higher voltages to enable faster charging. Bus companies could also expand the charging infrastructure economically: “It also enables bus operators to economically expand charging infrastructure with up to five dispensers plus a pantograph per charging centre”.
Finally, the charging system uses open communication standards such as the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) to interact with various back-end software programs. The charging infrastructure package for New Zealand includes Siemens’ charging management software, which allows Go Bus to centrally monitor and control the entire charging infrastructure in the two cities.
“As a national bus operator, Go Bus needs to be agile and adapt to many fast-moving changes when transitioning to electric bus transport,” says Calum Haslop, CEO of Go Bus. “It’s also important that any investments we make now, take into account rapid advances in battery technology and digitalization. Siemens’ independent charging infrastructure and management software provides us with the most future-proof solutions and flexibility”.
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