In-motion charging increases take-up of electric buses

| Transport

Electric bus with IMC technology on the Altoona test track in Pennsylvania

Electric bus and trolleybus demand is increasing globally as IMC technology reduces dependency on overhead power lines.

The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (GDRTA) in Ohio, USA has taken up an option for 26 dual-mode electric buses that are to replace its current trolleybuses, bringing the fleet into line with the latest state of the art. The four prototypes tested in a pilot programme proved a match for the demanding conditions of central Dayton, as well as for the inclement weather. Since 2013, Kiepe Electric has won major orders from Seattle and San Francisco for electrical equipment for a total of 482 vehicles.

In Italy, from 2019 onward, nine electric buses with In-Motion Charging (IMC) technology from Kiepe Electric will be operating on the new Rapid Coast Transport (TRC) line between Rimini and Riccione. The newly built line will run on a dedicated track, isolated from other traffic, and will offer local residents and tourists a fast link between the two cities. A traction battery enables the buses to access and exit the electrified route along roads with no overhead lines.

Also in Germany, the City of Esslingen is to expand its battery-powered trolleybus fleet to ten vehicles. The mass transit authority has been running four electric buses from Kiepe Electric on scheduled line service since 2016. The focus here is on the enhancement of the company’s ground-breaking In Motion Charging technology: With the new IMC 500 system and an improved traction battery, the buses will now be able to draw up to 500 kW of power from the overhead lines, boosting their performance above all on uphill stretches.

Electrical equipment from Kiepe Electric powers vehicles in many towns and cities around the world. Kiepe Electric is committed to advancing the electrification of bus fleets across the globe, based on its trailblazing IMC charging concept. This innovative charging technology from the Düsseldorf-based company adds real value for bus fleet operators: With In Motion Charging, trolleybuses cover sections of route without overhead lines in battery-powered mode, with the batteries then being recharged when the vehicle is back under overhead lines. This makes for non-stop 24/7 operation, with greater efficiency, resource conservation and vehicle availability.

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