Electric buses to connect Geneva airport

Flash charging technology helps Swiss mass transit become emission free

ABB is supplying flash charging and electric vehicle technology to support the move towards all-electric public transport in the Swiss capital of Geneva.

ABB has been awarded orders totaling more than $16 million by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), Geneva’s public transport operator, and Swiss bus manufacturer HESS, to provide flash charging and on-board electric vehicle technology for 12 TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) fully electric buses (e-buses) which will run on Line 23, connecting Geneva’s airport with suburban Geneva. The e-buses can help save as much as 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, when compared with existing diesel buses.

ABB will deliver and deploy 13 flash-charging stations along an urban transit bus route, as well as three terminal and four depot feeding stations. This will be the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology taking less than 1 second to connect the bus to the charging point. The onboard batteries can then be charged in 15 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at the bus stop. A further 4 to 5 minute charge at the terminus at the end of the line enables a full recharge of the batteries. The innovative technology was developed by ABB engineers in Switzerland.

“We are proud of this breakthrough technology to support Geneva’s vision of providing a silent and zero-emission urban mass transportation for the city. It provides a model for future urban transport and reinforces our vision of sustainable mobility for a better world” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division. “As part of our Next Level strategy, we are committed to developing customer-focused solutions and technologies that help lower environmental impact.”

The decision to deploy TOSA on Line 23 was undertaken after the successful pilot of the first such e-bus on the route from Geneva airport to the Palexpo exhibition center. The Line 23 bus route will be slightly modified in order to provide a fast connection to Praille-Acacias-Vernet, a new suburb being built to accommodate 11,000 flats and office space for about 11,000 employees. When fully commissioned in 2018, the high-capacity articulated buses will depart from both terminuses at 10-minute intervals during peak times. The line carries more than 10,000 passengers a day and the replacement of diesel buses by TOSA e-buses reduces noise as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of a separate award by HESS, ABB will supply 12 flexible drivetrain systems for the buses including integrated traction and auxiliary converters, roof-mounted battery units and energy transfer systems (ETS), as well as permanent magnet traction motors. Both contracts include five-year maintenance and service agreements to ensure operational reliability, efficiency and safety.

“The deployment of TOSA on Line 23 is the result of the collaborative efforts of the public and private sector partners who invested in this vision. This innovative project opens the way for the future of mobility, by providing a sustainable and environmentally-friendly mass transport solution for the well-being of our community,” said Luc Barthassat, Geneva’s State Councilor for Transport and Environment.

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