Arriva, one of London’s biggest bus operators, recently replaced half of the 44 double-decker buses at its Brixton Tramshed depot in south London with new electric vehicles. Zenobē, Arriva’s solution provider, chose Hitachi Energy’s Grid-eMotion Fleet system to charge the 22 e-buses.
The task was a tough one. Since the Tramshed at Brixton dates back to 1892, the depot has limited space and does not support overhead charging infrastructure structurally. What was more, with a traditional charging solution, Arriva would lose seven parking spaces and be unable to charge all the vehicles overnight.
Cue in Hitachi. The company says its Grid-eMotion Fleet system is ideal for urban bus depots that operate under severe space constraints. The high-powered charging system is modular and comes with a compact grid connection, so the system requires up to 60 per cent less space and 40 per cent less cabling than alternative solutions, according to Hitachi.
The company uses DC charging technology and slimline charging pedestals, each of which charges two vehicles. The charging capacity is between 50 and 600 kW, depending on the configuration. All grid connections and charging systems come together in modules. These modules can further be housed either in one cabinet or placed separately and help utilise available space better.
The Grid-eMotion Fleet system is also scalable and enables Arriva to add more columns and modules when it replaces the rest of the fleet with electric buses.
Hitachi as Hitachi ABB Power Grid introduced the solution in 2020 as a ‘grid-to-plug’ charging system for electric buses with a system-based approach.
Apart from London, the company has also received an order from Berlin’s public transport operator BVG this March as reported.
Transport for London wants a fully zero-emission bus network in the British capital by 2034 or potentially earlier subject to government funding. The entire bus fleet in London comprises around 9,000 vehicles.
Nationally, the Department for Transport just published the result of a second funding round through its ZEBRA scheme today. Nearly 1,000 zero-emission buses will roll out to communities in England with associated charging infrastructure.
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