ABB automated e-bus fast chargers to power Namur, Belgium’s new emissions-free electric hybrid bus system

2016-02-25 - In a partnership with Volvo Buses, two new fast charging systems will recharge emissions-free electric buses across the Walloon region’s capital city new emission free zone.

Following a similar project in Luxemburg, ABB has again partnered with Volvo Buses to deliver a fast charging infrastructure solution for Namur’s public transport system. Eleven new Volvo electric buses will run within a new zero-emissions zone inside the city. In addition to the two fast chargers, ABB’s solution includes switchgear and a service contract. The new bus service is planned to be operational by the end of 2016.

The automated fast chargers play an important role in opportunity charging, where instead of returning the bus to a depot to connect to an individual charger, the bus is recharged in minutes each time it arrives at an end station. This allows the bus to have a smaller, lighter battery pack which increases passenger capacity. Because they are not returned to the depot for charging, the buses are able to run more routes, improving service for commuters. These benefits reduce the total cost of ownership for the city.

“Cities around the world are increasing their urban e-mobility investments to reduce congestion and improve air quality,” said Pekka Tiitinen, President of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division. “Combining our e-mobility technology portfolio with partners like Volvo is a key element of our Next Level strategy and improves the commuting of bus clients and lowers cost for municipal transport companies.”

“Electric bus systems are a cost-efficient solution for cities to reduce the problems of poor air quality and noise. Together with ABB, Volvo has a complete and competitive offer for cities around the world that want to switch to a sustainable public transport system,” said Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses.

ABB’s fast charger modular design, with powers of 150 kW, 300 kW or 450 kW, accommodates any electric bus system. The fast-charging solutions are based on IEC 61851-23, the international standard for fast charging electric vehicles. This ensures the appropriate safety systems are in place, the electrical design is in accordance with regulations, and the systems architecture and working principles are supported by a wider automotive community in the future.

The quiet and clean Volvo 7900 buses are designed for zero-emission areas and silent or safety zones. The buses extend their reach and flexibility when needed with a small diesel engine. They create possibilities to open new routes and stops in areas that were not possible before.

Fast charger connectivity features such as remote diagnostics, remote management and over-the-air software upgrades ensure fast response and availability. With over 3,000 web-connected fast chargers installed around the world, our connectivity solutions have produced industry leading uptimes.

ABB ( is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport & infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

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