ABB fast chargers to power more Volvo electric buses in Luxembourg


The widespread ‘electrification’ of public transport systems in Europe continues, as the City of Luxembourg increases its investment in sustainable mobility with the addition of more electric buses and chargers.

Swedish-Swiss power and automation multinational ABB has received an additional order for EV fast chargers for the City of Luxembourg for five new Volvo electric hybrid buses. A previous order with Volvo Buses was placed last year for the transit system. All stations and buses will be delivered later in 2016, with one of the EV chargers to be located at the city’s central station. Around 160,000 people commute to and from the City of Luxembourg each day. The government of the Grand Duchy is making investments in sustainable mobility to reduce overall environmental impact and traffic volume, and the city has a goal to cut overall carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20% by 2020.

This is ABB’s second order with Volvo Buses in 2016. In February, the company announced the order for EV fast chargers in conjunction with Volvo for 11 electric hybrid buses for the city of Namur in Belgium. Easy to integrate into existing bus lines, the chargers use an inverted pantograph that enables a low-cost and low weight interface on roof of the bus. The charger’s modular design offers charging power of 150kW, 300kW or 450kW, while ABB’s proven suite of connectivity features enables maximum availability, high uptime and fast service response. The units are all based on IEC 61851-23, the international standard for fast charging of electric vehicles.

The city’s new Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid buses are equipped with an electric motor, batteries, and a small diesel engine, and can be powered by electricity for up to 70% of operating time. Quiet and exhaust-free when running in electric-mode, the buses offer 60% lower energy consumption and 75 to 90% lower emissions of carbon dioxide when compared with a conventional Euro 6-class diesel bus. The buses’ batteries are recharged at the route’s end stations in between 4-6 minutes.

“The decision to operate the first electric hybrid plug-in buses by the end of 2016 in the City of Luxembourg perfectly aligns with our continuous efforts to create a sustainable city,” explained Sam Tanson, First Deputy Mayor in charge of finance and mobility for the City of Luxembourg. “The society will immediately benefit from this project through a cleaner environment, reduced noise levels, and increased comfort during bus journeys. This ambitious pioneering project represents the starting point in our endeavor to a zero emission urban bus system for the City of Luxembourg in the near future.”

Pekka Tiitinen, president of ABB’s discrete automation and motion division, commented, “Sustainable mobility investments that reduce congestion and improve air quality are increasing. As part of our Next Level strategy, we will continue to develop our e-mobility technology portfolio and work closely with companies like Volvo, to ensure we provide the solutions these cities and public transportation systems expect.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).