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Bus charging through a pantograph, Source: Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona

2 Barcelona buses participate in a fast-charging trial

2 Barcelona buses participate in a fast-charging trial

The test will run for a few weeks in order to test electrical charging without human interaction

The City of Barcelona, through its public operator authority TMB, is now part of the ASSURED European project, which has the goal of developing fast-charging solutions for heavy-duty electrical vehicles, such as trucks, buses and vans in a way that would ensure stability, reliability in charging and convenience by eliminating the need for human involvement in such daily processes. The launch of the pilot test was given at a virtual presentation on 18 March and will take place for the next 5 to 6 weeks, after which the results will be analyzed.

Interoperability and standardization in charging heavy-duty vehicles

The ASSURED initiative (the name is reportedly an abbreviation for “fast and smart charging solutions for full size urban heavy-duty applications”) is financed in large part by the European Union (providing 18.65 million out of the total 23.64 million-euros budget) and counts with the coordination of the Free University of Brussels and the International Union of Public Transport (UITP).

The essence of this project is to develop the interoperability and standardization of heavy electric vehicles and chargers from different manufacturers. The engineering company Applus + IDIADA has done the necessary preparations in terms of definition, verification and validation of the parameters and loading processes.

TMB will participate by providing two of its electric buses (running on the H16, 33 and 55 lines in Barcelona), one being an 18-meter long Irizar and the other a 12-meter Citea VDL. These buses will be charged by using their pantographs located on their roofs (as seen on the photo) which will connect to the overhanging chargers (installed by Jema, Heliox and ABB) located in three different spots in the city: the Triangle depot, on Carrer del Cisell and at one of the terminal stops on the H16 line.

Apart from Barcelona, the tests are also being held in the cities of Gothenburg (Sweden), Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Osnabrück (Germany). The project in these cities will test out different methods of pantograph, plug-in and wireless charging without the need for manual handling.

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