Electric bus manufacturers agree charging system

European bus manufacturers Irizar, Solaris, VDL and Volvo have agreed to ensure the interoperability of electric buses with charging infrastructure provided by ABB, Heliox and Siemens.

Other bus manufacturers and charging system suppliers are invited to join the co-operation.

The objective is to ensure an open interface between electric buses and charging infrastructure and to enable the introduction of electric bus systems in European cities.

For opportunity charging, the system includes automatic contacting by a pantograph, wireless communication, contacting plates and infrastructure equipment that automatically contact vehicles with a pantograph.

For overnight charged electric buses, the fast charging standard for cars (CCS) will be used as a base for the plug and for the communication.

Standardisation activities have started via the European body (CEN-CENELEC) and the international organisation for standardisation (ISO/IEC).

European standards are expected to come in place 2019 and international standards in 2020.

However, many cities are implementing electric bus systems already now. In order to meet the needs of these cities, Irizar, Solaris, VDL and Volvo, along with charging system suppliers ABB, Heliox and Siemens have agreed to an open, transparent and voluntary approach.

Common, preferred interfaces will be opened-up for all market participants and will be used for electric buses with opportunity charging (fast charging at end stops) and for overnight charging.

The objective is to enable the introduction to electric bus systems in cities to ensure reliability and compatibility across bus brands and charging systems.