Hitachi ABB to charge Volvo electric buses in Västerås

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has won an order to supply its Grid-eMotion Fleet smart charging infrastructure solution, unveiled last year, to the Swedish city of Västerås. Local transport company Svealandstrafiken had ordered ten electric buses from Volvo.

Last year’s e-bus order with Volvo included an option for seven more articulated e-buses, so managing charging them all will be key. This is where Hitachi ABB Power Grids come in. The company, in 2020, launched a ‘grid-to-plug’ charging system for electric buses with a system-based approach.

The Grid-eMotion Fleet solution comprises standard containers to gather the grid connection and charging systems. It makes it easier to electrify bus depots and the parking spaces of electric truck fleets. The fleet charging solution is part of the Grid-eMotion portfolio, which includes a “flash-charging system” for buses on the go. In Västerås, however, operator Svealandstrafiken will rely on the charging variant with cable in the depot and not by pantograph on the route.

For implementation, Hitachi will work with Holmbergs EL AB. The order from Svealandstrafiken includes charging infrastructure connected to the grid and a digital control system to monitor fleet charging. Called e-mesh, the system calculates bus energy consumption, monitors battery life and route data, and optimizes depot power use, energy storage and overnight charging. Being entirely modular, Hitachi notes it can “relatively easy” transfer the charging system to another location for a new bus depot in Västerås in the future.

Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ Integration business, said he was “proud to be delivering our Grid-eMotion Fleet to help one of the country’s biggest cities achieve its sustainability targets.”

Svealandstrafiken already runs a fleet of more than 300 buses using biogas. The 10-17 new electric articulated buses, which will be running in Västerås in 2022, are the first step in the electrification strategy of the public transport operator in one of Sweden’s larger cities. On the federal level, the Swedish government is driving to reduce transportation emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 (compared to 2010) as part of its bid to achieve its Paris Agreement commitment.

Hitachi ABB Power Grid was established in 2018 after the Japanese company took over the grid business of the Swiss-Swedish ABB.

The company claims Grid-eMotion solutions are operating or under development in Europe, UK, Australia, China, India, Pakistan and the Middle East.


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