Ashok Leyland partners ABB Power Grids to develop new flash charge capable e-buses

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 09 Jan 2020

Ashok Leyland and ABB Power Products and Systems India (ABB Power Grids) signed a MoU development of pilot electric bus based on ABB’s innovative flash-charge technology called 'TOSA' (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation). This tops up the battery while passengers board and de-board the bus. As a result, it eliminates the need to take the vehicle out of service for recharging or having a replacement bus ready.

This partnership in the public e-mobility space is aimed to expand the eco-system for efficient and greener electric bus transportation systems in India and helps to minimise the size of the fleet while increasing passenger carrying capacity.

Commenting on the partnership, N Venu, MD, ABB Power Products and Systems India (ABB Power Grids’ business in India) said: “We are pushing the boundaries of e-mobility with our flash-charging technology TOSA for buses to contribute to a cleaner, greener, and sustainable future. The aim is to provide a zero local emission mass public transportation bus system with high passenger capacity. We are pleased to be working with Ashok Leyland in advancing responsible urban mobility.”

The partners say with the government promoting EVs and targeting 30 percent penetration by 2030, the switch to electric is a big task for operators. The primary challenge for these battery-operated buses is to maximise passenger load carrying capacity and running time to make the whole operation economically viable as well as sustainable for the future. Ashok Leyland will develop and manufacture electric buses with ABB’s TOSA flash-charging technology to tackle this challenge.

Dr N Saravanan, chief technology officer, Ashok Leyland said, “In this journey, to stay competitive in our domestic and global markets, we are joining hands with ABB to use their world-renowned TOSA technology on our e-buses to take forward our vision of expanding in the EV space. This solution of the flash charge technology (TOSA)  which enables charging the battery in seconds, is another example of  us delivering on our brand promise”

How does TOSA work?
At selected passenger stops, the TOSA system connects the bus to the charging infrastructure, and in 15 seconds the batteries are charged with a 600-kilowatt power boost. An additional few minutes charge at the final terminal enables a full recharge without interrupting the bus schedule.

TOSA fast-charging can save as much as 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide on a line covering 600,000 kilometres per year. It also offers operating cost savings of 30 percent compared to an equivalent diesel-transit system.

ABB will also provide its ABB Ability Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software solution for asset optimisation, along with the ABB Ability Network Manager Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to monitor and control the power network for charging stations and e-buses. On its part, Ashok Leyland will provide vehicle, energy and EV related technical information using its iAlert platform. This will further optimise maintenance processes, enable a fast response to fault incidents and better predict maintenance and performance needs. The overall solutions are equipped with remote access and 'cloud' capabilities and is scalable to meet future needs.

The ABB's Power Grids' business in India is responsible for planning, design, engineering installation and commissioning of the TOSA charging system under the MoU. Ashok Leyland will have the scope of manufacturing and supplying electrics buses compatible with TOSA technology.