ABB delivers the UK’s first OppCharge fast charger for a countrywide demonstration tour of Volvo’s right-hand drive 7900e fully electric single-deck bus.
The pilot, which was launched in Manchester on September 22 by City Mayor, Andy Burnham, brings together for the first time in the UK Volvo’s zero emission, fully electric 7900e bus and OppCharge opportunity charging from leading Electric Vehicle (EV) charging provider, ABB. This charger can recharge a bus on its route between three to six minutes, enabling the potential for the first ever 24-hour continuous bus operation in the UK.
Operated by First Manchester for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the single deck vehicle will be operating on the Metroshuttle 2 route, a free-to-use service that provides access to key locations across the city centre. The system has been installed at the Shudehill Interchange and will be deployed for eight weeks.
Frank Muehlon, Head of ABB’s global business for EV Charging Infrastructure commented: “As a global leader in EV charging solutions we are proud to be partnering with Volvo and Transport for Greater Manchester on delivering the first ever fast charging bus installation in the UK.
“This project marks a significant step in an ongoing partnership between ABB and Volvo, which has seen our companies work side by side since 2014 on co-developing city-wide electric bus solutions for improved and sustainable urban mobility.
“Our chargers are part of the ABB Ability™ portfolio of digital solutions where cloud connectivity allows for remote diagnosis and management, ensuring reliable and efficient infrastructure for bus passengers.
“We are delighted to be able to offer residents and visitors to Manchester access to this technology for the very first time and hope this tour will successfully demonstrate the huge improvement which electric buses can make on the environmental impact of public transport, with this bus delivering up to 80% lower energy consumption than its regular diesel equivalent.”
Volvo Bus managing director Nick Page added: “We are very excited to see the Volvo 7900e start its first demonstration period in Manchester. Knowing how committed Mayor Andy Burnham and TfGM are to improving air quality, we are confident the 7900e and accompanying technologies can go a long way to helping them achieve their goals.
“Part of the Volvo Electromobility range, the 7900e has already proved its worth throughout Europe, having been operated successfully in countries, including Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg and it is great to see our full electric and emission-free bus making its debut in the UK.
Page added: “We are very excited to see the Volvo 7900e start its first demonstration period in Manchester. Knowing how committed Mayor Andy Burnham and TfGM are to improving air quality, we are confident the 7900e and accompanying technologies caVolvo Busn go a long way to helping them achieve their goals.
“Part of the Volvo Electromobility range, the 7900e has already proved its worth throughout Europe, having been operated successfully in countries including Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg and it is great to see our full electric and emission-free bus making its debut in the UK.
“At Volvo Bus we have a strong vision of supplying a blend of vehicles including hybrids, electric hybrids and full electric vehicles to towns and cities across the UK, which will significantly contribute to improving the environment for those who live, work and visit these places.
“Increasingly these vehicles and technologies are creating a new era in passenger transport when used in conjunction with each other to deliver a true customer-focused solution for operators.”
ABB is the global market leader in DC fast charging, with a global installed base of more than 5,000 chargers since 2010. To date, ABB has installed 15 OppCharge systems across the world, enabling more than 150 electric buses to be charged. OppCharge is an open interface for the automated charging of both single and double deck electric buses, from any manufacturer, using a pantograph on the infrastructure to connect the bus to the charging point.
First introduced in mainland Europe in 2015, the Volvo 7900e provides up to 80% lower energy consumption than an equivalently sized diesel bus. It is a two-axle bus with an electric motor and four high-capacity 19kWh Lithium-ion batteries and offers zero tailpipe emissions.
Following the Manchester trial, the vehicle will be heading for a demonstration at London’s Heathrow Airport for a period of eight weeks. This will involve transporting airport staff and customers to and from the carparks and terminals.