Robots collaborating with humans paving the way to sustainable mobility

Energy storage systems are key for sustainable mobility and play an important role in the electrification and decarbonization of transportation. In Baden, Switzerland, ABB is now producing such systems to be used in railways, e-buses and trains. The systems can be retrofit into existing vehicle fleets, making them more sustainable.

Two ABB industrial robots in a manufacturing site and a team managing the process: At the newly inaugurated facility for energy storage systems in Baden, Switzerland, ABB is building up to 10,000 energy storage systems a year. There, battery cells are assembled into standardized battery modules, which are combined into energy storage systems and configured according to the specific application. Two ABB robots ensure that high safety and quality requirement are met: while one places the battery cells in the module housing, the other joins them by means of a highly precise laser welding process. The final products feature the latest lithium-ion technology and are characterized by their high energy density (79 Wh/kg) as well as their long service life even under high loads. They are designed to be safe, help reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency. All data in the production process is recorded digitally on a continuous basis.

In Switzerland, the energy storage systems will be used, among other applications, in trolleybuses in the cities of Zurich, Lausanne and Fribourg. Several automobile manufacturers from other countries have already sent in orders for ABB’s energy storage systems that can be used for e-buses / trolleybuses and e-trucks. Additionally, the systems will be used in trains, where the integration of energy storage systems help Diesel hybrid vehicles to cut CO2 emissions by 30%.

Efficient energy storage systems are essential for the operation of electric buses and e-trucks and allow, for example, the braking energy generated by recuperation to be stored. Moreover, the energy storage systems increase the flexibility of trolleybuses as they can drive long distances without overhead lines thanks to this technology. Existing vehicle fleets can be retrofit, ensuring that current fleets are part of sustainable future.

ABB has many years of experience in energy storage systems for a wide variety of applications such as in power grids or solar systems. Baden was selected as the production location for different reasons including its proximity to the ABB Center of Excellence for Traction Converters in Turgi and to the ABB Corporate Research Center in Dättwil. The facility represents an important investment in Switzerland as a production location and provides added value for applications at home and abroad.


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