Kempower delivers bus depot charging infrastructure to Bologna

Italy's first electric bus depot equipped with hardware from Finnish manufacturer Kempower has gone into operation in Bologna. The public transport operator TPER (Transporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna) uses DC technology from Kempower to charge 20 electric buses simultaneously.

Image: Kempower

The first bus depot with Kempower charging technology in Italy is also one of the largest depots in the country – 500 vehicles are deployed from there. However, not all of these are yet electric, which is why the site in Via Ferrarese in Bologna initially has 20 charging stations.

This is a bottom-up pantograph solution: a picture published by Kempower shows that the pantograph arm is located on the roof of the bus and lifts up towards the pantograph on the infrastructure side. Up to 300 kW can be charged there. In addition, there are five Kempower satellite chargers, each with one output, which can be used for cable-based charging with up to 130 kW.

According to the Technical Director for Infrastructure, Fabio Monzali, the main arguments in favour of TPER were the reliability and the modular expansion of the charging system for Kempower in order to adapt the infrastructure to the growing electric bus fleet. TPER’s fleet includes electric buses from VDL. However, the operator is also planning the large-scale deployment of H2 buses and has founded a joint venture for hydrogen refuelling systems together with Wolftank.

“I was therefore looking for an utterly reliable charging solution for our e-fleet, to prevent any of our e-buses to stop at any time due to lack of power,” says Monzali. “The modular Kempower’s power unit and the related dynamic power management allow us to grant charging even in case a fault should occur. Failing power modules can even be remotely isolated for servicing, allowing uninterrupted operation for the rest. This is extremely important for us.”

Tommi Liuska, Chief Sales Officer at Kempower, added: “We’re grateful for the opportunity to contribute to TPER’s initiative to electrify the public transportation in the region. Electrification of public transport is an important step for the Municipality of Bologna when working towards its climate goals, and we look forward to further expanding our collaboration with TPER as the need for reliable charging solutions increase.”


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