When it comes to electric vehicles, people are slowly coming around on the idea that they can fit into our everyday lives.
What can be said about heavy-duty electric vehicle applications, such as trucks and buses? For one, it can be said that they do exist and, making use of huge battery packs, can make daily delivery runs with ease. On the other hand, their very size and weight makes range and recharging a critical concern. Turning our attention to passenger electric vehicles, LIII DC fast-charging stations make quick work of charging something like a Nissan Leaf (30 minutes) or Tesla Model S (60 minutes). One would expect larger vehicles to take longer to charge, but something interesting happens when you are considering powering a route-vehicle, such as the TOSA articulated electric bus or a delivery truck.
The TOSA bus carries 135 passengers, yet is powered by a 38 kWh lithium-titanate oxide rechargeable battery pack. Given that the Nissan Leaf’s 24 kWh lithium-ion pack takes about 30 minutes to recharge, one might safely assume that the TOSA would take maybe 40 minutes, but not with the amount of power the TOSA is taking on. The TOSA, on a 400 kW charger, takes just 15 seconds to top off a charge, up to four minutes on a 200 kW charger. The nice thing is that charging stations can be placed anywhere along the route, charging while loading and unloading passengers.
Now, let’s take it up another notch, with the introduction of the Opbrid Trůkbaar and Opbrid Bůsbaar V3, out of Switzerland. Taking the same technology Furrer+Frey has been using for decades to power locomotives, Opbrid has upped the power and reduced the size. On the vehicle itself, such as a hybrid or electric bus or heavy-duty electric truck, a four-bar contactor is placed on the roof. The charging station, which features a retractable pantograph, can be designed to match the surroundings and be unobtrusive. What is special is how much power this particular electric vehicle charging station puts out, up to 650 kW. The Trůkbaar and Bůsbaar are identical and can be adapted to practically any heavy-duty electric vehicle, making for cleaner public transportation and delivery companies, without the inconvenience of long charging times.
Image © Opbrid