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Trolleybuses - charging on the go

Newly developed dynamic charging tbuses provide the most efficient, cost effective and practical way to electrify bus fleets, providing the least expensive and most sustainable solution. Using a combination of 30% overhead charging and 70% autonomous running overcomes the operational compromises of using battery buses to achieve net zero public bus transport. With 600 IMC tbuses in operation and 600 on order, the practicality is proven.

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 Electrification capital costs

 New system economics

 In Motion Charging (IMC) from Kiepe

 IMC animation

 Dynamic charging of electric buses

 Download article version PDF

 UITP In Motion Charging Knowledge Brief pdf

 Smart Trolley Grid

 Potential of In-Motion Charging Buses for the  Electrification of Urban Bus Lines

Final EU Trolley 2.0 conference papers.

  orders 2000-2020
  model availabilty

TrolleyMotion News
TrolleyMotion Industry News

Related pages -

Promoting quiet, clean urban transport using
Overhead Electric, Zero Emission Trolleybuses -
email The Electric Tbus Group

updated 2/5/19

Hess Electrobus

Problems with battery electric buses -

  range limited to 150-200km
  insufficent for all-day service
  difficulties in coping with extreme weather
  need to recharge within working shift
  larger fleet needed for equivalent service
  difficulties for large scale intensive deployment
  increase to >200km range brings unacceptable weight penalty and significant replacement cost
  high charging capacity, <600kW, requires greater number of vehicles to maintain service
  flash charging, >600kW, has proved problematic technically and operationally
  charging at enroute stops not practical on high capacity routes
  two-wire plug-in charging is only practical overnight, needing large batteries
  four-wire pantograph charging has low flexibilty and higher infrastructure cost
  induction dynamic charging, especially wireless in-motion, has not proved practical
  no indications of radical increase in battery capacity or life, despite intense research
  fuel cell buses remain unrealistically expensive and energy inefficient

Solaris typeVI

Advantages of tbus Dynamic In Motion Charging -

  high GHG emission reduction
  most economical ebus technology, especially for high capacity routes
  greater efficiency, operating from overhead uses 80% of consumption when operating from batteries
  2x to 10x less battery requirement due to greater charging efficiences
  better overall performance
  lower total cost of ownership
  unrivalled hill climbing ability
  no need to stop to recharge
  can be combined with opportunity charging
  lay-over times are dependant on scheduling, not on technology requirements
  weight saving provides greater carrying capacity
  no restriction on heating/cooling needs
  no limit to daily vehicle usage, 100% availability
  lower total fleet size and lower labour costs
  total life cost is lower than battery equivalent, including infrastructure costs and maintenance
  ideally suited to higher capacity vehicles (24m, >200 passengers)
  smart trolley grids can provide urban DC infrastuctures for other e-vehicles
  provides balanced energy demand
  latest versions provide up to 500kW per bus
  braking energy recuperation technology provides additional power to smart grid
  simplified DC connections to renewable electrical supplies
  overhead infrastructure reduced
  only 20-30% of a route may need to be wired
  re-connection has no effect on operating timetable
  removes necessity of overhead crossings or frogs
  less overhead maintenance and cost
  overhead can serve several routes, improving synergy and cost effectiveness through higher utilisation
  provides balanced energy demand
  well established hardware with potential for development - improved collector current capacity,
    higher line voltage, better charging electronics, reduced auxiliaries energy consumption and AI potential
  particular advantages for new systems with dedicated traffic lanes
  overhead provides customer confidence in transport provision commitment
  little visual intrusion
  protection of historical centres
  potential for later conversion to light rail

Kiepe IMC Kiepe IMC Kiepe IMC Kiepe IMC Salzburg Hess
Line 5 in Salzburg is now extended by 10km to Grödig, without overhead.    Salzburg AG

References -

  E-bus 2020 In Motion Charging - HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, 2020
  In Motion Charging - Innovative Trolleybus, Gunter Mackinger et al., UITP Knowledge Brief, 2019
  Dynamic Charging of Electric Buses, Mikołaj Bartłomiejczyk, Gdansk University of Technology, 2018
  Kiepe Electric IMC systems, Seattle, San Francisco, Dayton, Milan, Modena, Rimini, Solingen, Linz, Esslingen, Arnhem, Zurich, Prague etc.
  Potential of In-Motion Charging Buses for the Electrification of Urban Bus Lines, Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering, vol.6, no. 4, 2016
  Energy Saving Potential of a Battery-Assisted Fleet of Trollybuses, Andreas Ritter et al. Dept. of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 2016
  Analysis of limiting factors of battery assisted trolleybuses, Dobroslav Grygar et al, 13th International Scientific Conference on Sustainable, Modern and Safe Transport, 2019
  Potential Application of Solar Energy Systems for Electrified Urban Transportation Systems, Mikołaj Bartłomiejczyk, Gdansk University of Technology, 2018

Biel Hess
Hess 19DC trolleybuses in Biel can operate for 30km without overhead and charge in-motion (600V/750V 200kVA) or plug into a charging station (400V AC 22kVA).    Hess

Linz Van Hool
IMC ready, with a modular battery charging system, the new fleet of 20 Van Hool 24m trolleybuses in Linz can be retrofitted for future system developments. Carrying up to 180 passengers, the vehicles have a 5km battery range.   Van Hool

Kiepe has developed a standardised 15.2kWh, 300kg 662V battery module for in-motion charging trolleybuses, manufactured by Voltabox. Three of the containers, each with 12 modules of Lithium titante cells, makeup a system, together with air-conditiong for liquid battery cooling. The first 240 containers are destined for four trolleybus cities in Switzerland and Italy by spring 2021.    Voltabox

More details of worldwide Tbus developments are here

Copyrights acknowledged
updated 2/3/20
By Ashley Bruce