Fleet of ABB bus chargers will power Hamburg’s drive into the e-mobility future

The project for Germany’s first fully electric bus terminal, on a system carrying 200 million riders a year, is another example of ABB’s global leadership in electric transportation

Every day, around the world, the future of transportation is driving up, and powering up, with technology provided by ABB, a pioneering technology leader in digital industries.

One of the newest destinations is Hamburg, where the local transit authority has chosen ABB to supply the charging infrastructure for what will be Germany’s first fully electric bus depot. The system of 44 digitally networked high-power chargers will be installed on the roof of the Hamburger Hochbahn depot, providing an intelligent and cost-effective approach to overnight charging for the city’s large and growing e-bus fleet.

ABB's 150C-model chargers to supply the charging infrastructure for what will be Germany’s first fully electric bus depot.
ABB's 150C-model chargers to supply the charging infrastructure for what will be Germany’s first fully electric bus depot.

The transportation operator, Hamburger Hochbahn AG, aims to achieve full electrification of its bus fleet by 2030. The Hamburg Senate has mandated the purchase of only zero-emission, fully electric buses beginning in 2020, in keeping with Germany’s ambitious clean-energy environmental agenda. In Hamburg, where the bus system carries more than 200 million passengers a year, an all-electric fleet will provide the benefits of cleaner air and lower noise that are the goals of urban transportation planners everywhere.

With more than a century’s experience in clean, electric transportation, including trains and even seagoing vessels, ABB has become the world leader in innovative electric vehicle (EV) charging. That includes high-powered, energy-efficient overnight systems for bus depots, charging at end-stops with pantograph solutions, as well as “flash-charging” technologies for BRT style buses. 

And ABB’s fast-charging Terra HP terminals are enabling the e-mobility revolution for electric cars worldwide, providing charging stations being installed in digitally connected networks of the electric equivalent of petrol filling stations – where drivers in as few as 8 minutes can top up their batteries to add as much as 200 kilometers (124 miles) of cruising range.

ABB EV chargers  showcased at Hannover Messe 2019
ABB EV chargers showcased at Hannover Messe 2019

An expanding e-mobility product line

Charging technology is only part of a broad range of innovative e-mobility solutions offered by ABB.

At sea, ABB’s maritime power systems include all-electric Azipod® propulsion systems than can propel cruise ships and are providing clean-energy alternatives for shipbuilders worldwide. The Chinese company Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, for example, recently contracted with ABB to provide an electric power and propulsion package for China's first domestically built cruise ship.

ABB’s all-electric Azipod® propulsion systems
ABB’s all-electric Azipod® propulsion systems

ABB also provides electric drivetrains for heavy vehicles, including construction and mining equipment. The company is also involved in battery development for EVs, as evident from its partnership with Northvolt to develop a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery factory in Sweden.

As all these examples demonstrate ABB’s commitment to combining the innovations of the Energy Revolution with the automation and digital connectivity of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as the company helps the world achieve economic growth in environmentally sustainable ways.

ABB, which had revenue of $27.66 billion last year, is on track to achieve 60 percent of its revenue from ecologically friendly products, solutions and services by 2020.

An integrated approach for Hamburg

For the Hamburg electric bus fleet, ABB will supply 44 high-power 150C-model chargers, each of which can provide an overnight charge to a bus with a range of 150 km (93 miles) under normal conditions.

The installation can be housed on the roof of the bus depot because of the compact design of the 150C chargers. The high-power chargers are part of the ABB AbilityTM portfolio of digital solutions, benefiting from cloud connectivity which allows for remote diagnosis and management, ensuring reliable and efficient infrastructure for bus passengers. 

The high-power chargers are part of ABB’s modular systems approach for depot charging applications which provide efficient grid connection for the charging infrastructure. To ensure high availability and reliability, medium voltage (MV) SafePlus switchgear, which features a completely sealed system for improved performance and personal safety, dry transformers and the low voltage (LV) switchgear was doubled-up to deliver seamless charging between stations, in the event maintenance would need to be carried out on other points of the infrastructure. 

With each charger operating at 150 kilowatts of power, the 44 terminals will together provide the electricity equivalent to the needs of a community of 5,000. Installation and site management will be overseen by ABB, with the charging system due for completion by this summer.

“We are proud to help build the first significant electric bus depot in Germany,’’ said Frank Muehlon, head of ABB’s global business for EV Charging Infrastructure. “We are confident that the installation of our high-power overnight charging solution will take Hamburg another step closer to making zero-emission public transport a reality.”

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