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Fast-charging Amsterdam’s public e-bus network.

Heliox provides the depot charging and opportunity charging infrastructure for e-buses in Amsterdam; supporting the capital city in its move towards emission-free transport.

Amsterdam’s public transport operator, GVB, was committed to transitioning towards a zero-emission bus fleet. The project was an important step in improving air quality and quality of life for Amsterdam’s visitors and citizens.

Specifications

31 buses 4 MW Amsterdam, the Netherlands 5 Months
Roof-mounted pantograph

Challenge

Amsterdam was investing in 31 electric buses supplied by VDL, with an additional 69 e-buses to be added to the fleet in the coming years. Bus drivers on the busy routes needed a solution that enabled easy and efficient charging, on route and at the depot. Street furniture, such as charger cabinets needed to be out of sight, respectful of the existing environment. The low roof at the depot where the buses were parked also presented Heliox with an additional challenge of how the contact hoods could be accommodated.

Solution

Charging via pantograph had already been successfully used at different locations and it was decided the same method would be the most suitable charging solution for this fleet. A solution involving a combination of overnight charging (involving the bus battery packs being charged at night in the garage via storage chargers) and fast chargers at opportunity charging points during the day. Collaboration with VDL, resulted in a new construction for the contact hoods, allowing them to be easily accommodated in the depot. The charger cabinets were placed unobtrusively and close to the charging location, ensuring minimal impact on the street view. At the depot, a total of 29 Heliox DC 50 kW chargers and 2 Heliox OC 150 kW chargers were installed with a further 7 Heliox 450 KW installed at the OC location. To enable the bus driver to easily see where to park the bus for charging, lights were installed in platforms in the ground. The lights change from red to green to indicate when charging is taking place.

Results

Robin Verspeek, Program Manager Rolling Stock at GVB is positive with the solution provided for the first batch of zero-emission buses in Amsterdam. “We are contributing to cleaner air in the city and reducing our CO2 emission. In the near future, the entire fleet of around 200 buses will be replaced by e-buses to provide our customers with clean and comfortable public transport.” Ard Romers, Managing Director of VDL Bus&Coach comments, “Heliox has been a reliable and trusted partner in multiple projects in the Netherlands and this remarkable project in Amsterdam symbolizes our continued cooperation with both Heliox and GVB. It is, of course, pleasing to be supplying electric buses and a fast charging network together with Heliox to our capital city.”

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