18 Feb 2017


Esslingen Municipal Transportation Authority (SVE) recenyly presented its new battery trolleybuses with In-Motion-Charging (IMC) from Vossloh Kiepe. The four electric hybrid buses ordered by SVE from consortium partners Vossloh Kiepe and Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. have been on regular line service since late 2016.

These innovative IMC articulated buses are equipped with lithium titanate (LTO) traction batteries which, with 37 kWh of usable energy and an output of 240 kW, enable normal operation on sections of the route with no overhead contact lines.

Even in unfavorable conditions, the buses have an operating range of ten kilometers in battery mode. This was one of the main reasons why Esslingen opted for this technology:

The battery trolleybuses have a top speed of 65 km/h in both operating modes. With their dual axle drive with 160 kW available at each powered axle, the buses offer outstanding performance even on gradients and in difficult weather conditions, and recuperate energy efficiently. If necessary the buses can draw on up to 600 kW while hooked up to the overhead lines. Against the backdrop of current demands for public transportation operators to make a substantial contribution to protecting the environment, with the IMC concept the electrical systems specialists at Vossloh Kiepe offer a practical and sustainable approach. IMC permits fleet operators to run any number of electric buses reliably, leading to measurable improvements in air quality in urban environments around the world. In this reference project in Esslingen, an uncomplicated electric bus system has been implemented that enables the buses to be operated round the clock without a break, presenting a future oriented approach that many public transportation authorities could adopt in many different places.

Now part of the Knorr-Bremse Group, Vossloh Kiepe has been supplying traction equipment for trolleybuses ever since 1950. Since 2005 the combination with a traction battery as an auxiliary drive system has been implemented in more than 600 electric buses, initially for Vancouver (262), then in articulated and double-articulated buses in Zurich (35), followed by Geneva (33) and Lucerne (30), then from 2014 in Seattle (174) and San Francisco (60). 12meter versions of IMC battery buses with powerful LTO batteries are already in service on routes with sections with no overhead lines in Dayton (2) and Cagliari (4). The four IMC battery buses in Esslingen are the first dual mode articulated buses.

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