Australia’s first electric public transport bus route powered by ABB

ABB, Volvo

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) of Western Australia has appointed ABB to supply charging infrastructure for WA’s first electric bus trial.

ABB will supply and install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at Transperth’s Joondalup Bus Depot to power electric buses along the popular, free five-kilometre Joondalup CAT (central area transit) route. Transperth is the PTA’s metro-area operating arm.

ABB’s EV chargers will provide overnight charging for the new Volvo electric buses to operate this CAT route, ensuring zero emission transportation throughout the day. These compact, high-power fast chargers have the ability to charge two buses simultaneously, ensuring less downtime and improved utilization of the vehicles across the planned route.

WA’s Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said, “Trialing new, green technology is a great use of our public transport network, already one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around Perth. This is the first time we have trialled electric buses on a CAT route and I’m excited to see what commuters think about this new technology.”

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Forming part of the ABB Ability portfolio of digital solutions, the ABB Terra184 180kW high-power chargers benefit from cloud connectivity that allows network operators to remotely monitor and diagnose the charging infrastructure 24/7, maximising uptime, increasing efficiency and ensuring reliable infrastructure for bus passengers.

Furthermore, ABB’s depot and opportunity chargers utilise CCS (Combined Charging System) connectivity and OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) compliance. Their all-in-one design combines the charging cabinet and charging post, resulting in a small infrastructure footprint and making it suitable for compact installations like bus depots where space is a premium.

“As outlined in our Technology Investment Roadmap submission to the Australian Government in June, ABB is committed to driving innovation in the e-mobility sector to advance the uptake of EV technology that supports Australia’s transition away from modes of transport that produce green-house-gas (GHG) emissions,” said David Sullivan, Head of Electrification, ABB Australia.

“The transport sector — including passenger, mass transit and freight vehicles — currently accounts for 18.9% of Australia’s emissions [1] making it the country’s second highest emitting sector after electricity generation. State-run public transport and vehicle fleets can kickstart Australia’s EV awareness and readiness to embrace this advanced technology and lead the way with EV ambitions.

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“We are very proud to be part of the first electric bus route in Western Australia and we are confident that our charging solution will support WA to get a step closer to meeting its public transport emission goals.

“ABB was selected for the quality, reliability and connectivity of its EV charging solutions, and we are pleased to collaborate with Gemtek and LKS Solutions to support the PTA electric bus trial.”

Edward Kestel, Managing Director of Malaga based Gemtek Group said the company is very excited to be chosen as the preferred ABB technical partner for the project, after having delivered numerous energy and transport technology infrastructure projects for state government and utilities in Western Australia over the past 10 years.

“Being a contributor to the transition to sustainable energy and transport systems is rewarding not only for the Gemtek team, but also for the positive environmental impact it delivers for Western Australia overall,” Mr Kestel said.

ABB is a world leader in electric vehicle infrastructure, offering the full range of charging and electrification solutions for electric cars, electric and hybrid buses as well as for ships and railways. ABB entered the EV-charging market back in 2010, and today has sold more than 14,000 ABB DC fast chargers across over 80 countries. ABB recently received the Global E-mobility Leader 2019 award for its role in supporting the international adoption of sustainable transport solutions.

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