ABB fast chargers are being used to double the range of award-winning electric buses — and cut the cost of recharging.
The Optare Versa EV midibuses recently won the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Award for Automotive Innovation 2012. ABB worked closely with Optare to ensure the Versa EV was compatible with ABB Terra 51 DC fast charging stations.
With a passenger capacity of 51, the Versa EVs are the UK’s first fully operational, full-sized battery-powered electric buses. Three of the vehicles are operated by Travel De Courcey in Coventry and are charged by two ABB Terra 51s installed at the city’s Park and Ride. These can charge the buses’ batteries to full capacity in less than two hours, compared to the standard six to eight hours from a normal street charger.
This offers the potential to double the daily range of the buses from the current maximum of 95 miles on a single overnight charge, making it particularly useful in intensive city centre operations or for providing services to 24-hour-a-day operations such as airports. And using off-peak electricity, a full charge can cost as little as £6.40. The ABB recharging stations also allow the buses to re-charge throughout the working day, removing the need to return to base.
Terra 51 rapid charging stations can also charge a Nissan Leaf or Mitsubuishi i-Miev in under 30 minutes, with hundreds of the units currently being installed across Europe and beyond.