Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CONCEPT Report Summary

Project ID: 731129

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CONCEPT (CONductive fast Charge system for Electric buses in Public Transport)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

What is the problem/issue being addressed?
The main focus of the project is the development of a Conductive Fast Charge System for Buses. This technology will offer a breakthrough regarding the achievement of zero emission public transport and will provide a competitive edge to the European Bus manufacturing industry. The application of a fully automated contacting and fast charging system, will enable multiple “opportunity charges” during the regular operation of electric buses. By doing so the capacity of the onboard batterypack of the bus can be substantially reduced, thus saving cost, weight and volume on the electric bus. With batteries coming to the market that do not need overnight cell balancing, depot/overnight charging can be omitted completely enabling 24/7 operation.

Why is it important for society?
The development of this system is important to society as it offers a solution for the pollution of traditional combustion engine. Diesel fuelled buses are accountable for a large part of the emissions in cities, replacing them by electric buses will bring the emissions truly to zero, next to that gaining substantially in environmental noise. When charged with electricity harvested from renewable source, a true zero emission from “well to wheel” can be achieved. Furthermore, it will help the European Dutch manufacturers to retain their competitive edge in the global market of bus manufacturing. As the major footprint of battery-cell manufacturers is firmly located in Asia, this implies a serious disadvantage for European bus manufacturers when competing with Asian bus manufactures, often implementing oversized batteries to achieve an acceptable driving range. The envisaged Conductive Charging System is will enable European Bus Manufacturers to counteract this, whilst at the same time building a lighter bus with more passenger capacity.

What are the overall objectives?
The overall goal of the project is to successfully launch the Conductive Charge System for buses. For that as well the fast charging system as the automated coupler system are developed with performance beyond state of the art in energy efficiency, ease of installation and operation, high availability (up-time) and long lifetime. The industrialisation of the overall system is being guaranteed via an integrated approach in the development process and factory and certification involvement. The road to the market has be prepared in an early phase by multiple and close market contacts and alignment. The system as proposed by Heliox will facilitate opportunity charging which will extend the range of an (H)EV significantly.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The specifications and architecture of the envisaged system have been identified. Progress according planning has been made on the development of the overall system. The work on the system integration has started and the procedure and planning for testing, validation and demonstration is being made. Industrialisation of the system is being implemented as an integral part of the development process in order to ensure smooth and successful mass production. Market entry is being prepared via several channel in the value chain, ensuring the right system at the right moment. In line with this the Business Plan is being monitored and updated accordingly.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The selected architecture enables connection of the system to as well the LV (Low Voltage) as the MV (Medium Voltage) electricity grid. The latter will have a strong positive impact on the overall system efficiency, size and cost, as well as on the available capacity of the electricity grid. Next to that the new optimized cooling scheme of the system will enable substantial increased lifetime and thus lower TCO enabling faster and economical mass deployment.
The main socio-economic impact addressed in this project concern the effects of climate change on our society. These effects are already visible today and should therefore be addressed as swiftly as possible. The CONCEPT project attempts to minimize the impact of public transport on climate change by providing a suitable alternative to traditional combustion engines. The main aim is to provide a charging system that can replace traditional combustion engines and that does not impact the performance of the busses. This is achieved by optimizing the charging along the routes and thereby decreasing the down time of busses.

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