Taking charge of growing EV fleets17 July 2020
Hitachi ABB Power Grids has launched a new charging system that it believes represents a step change for bus and commercial fleet operators looking to scale up their EV fleets. Among the advantages are significantly reduced footprint and much less cabling thanks to a DC based distribution concept that simplifies the power electronics (see diagram), with grid connection and charging systems integrated and supplied typically in a 20 ft standard container in cabinets designed to facilitate maintenance.
Above Image: Grid-eMotion Fleet (right), conventional configuration (left)
Called Grid-eMotion™ Fleet, the new offering builds on ABB flash-charging technology for buses first introduced in Geneva and Nantes. Through close collaboration with transport operators, Hitachi ABB Power Grids says it has “identified a market need for a more holistic approach to large-scale charging”, with a shift “from a charger-product based approach to a charging-system based approach.”
It is a “game-changer for anyone managing public transport and commercial EV fleets,” says Niklas Persson, Managing Director of the Grid Integration business unit at Hitachi ABB Power Grids, delivering “unprecedented scalability, space savings and operational efficiency.”
Compared to a conventional connection to the AC grid, the new approach achieves a 60% reduction in the space required for large-scale EV fleet charging, whilst the depot cabling is reduced by 40%.
It also includes smart energy management systems to manage the complete charging infrastructure as well as digital analytics to monitor battery life, route data, traffic and depot logistics to ensure power use, energy storage and overnight charging are optimised.
The system is modular and fully customisable, with rectifier capacity from 1 MW (serving ten 100 kW EV chargers, for example) to 3 MW (able to accommodate, eg, twenty 150 kW chargers). A 500 kW/670 kWh battery storage system can be incorporated.
The new technology is designed to facilitate grid connection and achieve compliance with the most stringent power quality requirements.
André Burdet, product & marketing manager, Grid Integration, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, notes that as e-mobility becomes mainstream – with, for example, some estimates suggesting that as much as 80% of the global bus fleet will be electric by 2040 – it is going to “need a lot of clean electricity.”
“Convergence of e-mobility with the energy sector is just around the corner,” he says. “We are at an inflection point. Up to now we haven’t needed to worry about the charging infrastructure, but it will soon become the essential enabler.” And “meeting mainstream demand calls for a different approach” – as reflected in Grid-eMotion™ Fleet, which anticipates mass electrification of public transport and the need for a major scaling up of EV charging capabilities.