Mass transit systems stand to benefit the most from the electrification of vehicles, with electric buses in particular appealing to transit authorities. In Switzerland, the new TOSA electric bus system has begun testing with a unique fast-charging system that refills the bus in just 15 seconds.
TOSA, or Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation, is a pilot project that launched in Geneva that recharges itself every few stops at special stations. Developed by ABB, the purpose of the pilot project is to uncover the most efficient and least costly way to adapt mass transit to vehicle electrification. ABB is also working on software to help cities determine the optimal bus routes and locations for the quick-charge stations, which pop out of the bus’s roof and attach to a special charger. The potential for this electric bus to save many metro authorities big bucks can’t be understated.
The quick-charge system is enough to get the 133-passenger bus through a few stops, and Geneva anticipates adopting the system as part of its full-time transit system by 2017. While other bus companies are focused driving far on as few recharges as possible, the high cost of the big batteries may make them too costly for some smaller cities. But the TOSA can have a smaller battery thanks to the quick charge system, keeping costs down, without adding unnecessary downtime for charging.