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Customer Success Story
TOSA flash-charging e-bus, Geneva, Switzerland

Hitachi Energy's TOSA e-bus solution was selected by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), Geneva’s public transport operator after the successful pilot of the first such e-bus on the route from Geneva airport to the Palexpo exhibition center.


The electric bus, named TOSA, looks like a regular trolleybus, except when you look on the roof. Instead of the usual trolley poles which connect overhead lines, this e-bus has a controlled moving arm that connects, in less than a second, to an overhead receptacle integrated into the bus shelter. The high-power flash-charging technology feeds the onboard batteries for 20 seconds, the time it takes for passengers to get on and off the bus. So, passengers never have to wait for the bus to charge.

Customer Highlights

The first articulated bus (18.75 m length) for 133 passengers ran under real-life operating conditions from May 26, 2013, to end 2014 on a route from Geneva’s airport (terminus) to the nearby Palexpo exhibition centre (flash-charging station). Based on the results, a decision was taken to deploy TOSA on the full line 23 (12 kilometers, 12 buses) in 2018.

Thanks to re-charging along the route, the battery size and weight have been reduced, resulting in increased space for passengers and energy efficiency.


Depending on the bus route, a flash-charging station is installed at every fourth or fifth stop. This technology eliminates the visual impact of the overhead lines associated with trolleys and reduces noise emissions of diesel buses. By not being bound to the overhead lines, the system also offers greater route flexibility. That makes TOSA an ideal solution for urban mass transport.

The energy transfer system is designed to ensure passenger comfort as well as health and safety. The direct-contact technology prevents electromagnetic field emissions associated with induction loop charging technologies.


TOSA can be used like trolley- or diesel buses – i.e., frequency and stopping times remain unchanged. That is especially important during peak hours and directly impacts costs. Timetables can be maintained without the need for extra operating hours or additional buses.

Main data
Start of operation:  2 buses in December 2017
10 buses in March 2018
Length of the bus:
Passenger capacity: 
Kilometers driven per year: 
13 Flash-charging stations:  20 s, 600 kW, 600 VDC
3 Terminus feeding stations: 4-5 min, 400 kW, 600 VDC
4 Depot feeding stations:  30 min, 45kW, 500 VDC
12 drivetrain solutions:  Automatic energy transfer systems (ETS), battery units, traction coverters
with integrated auxiliary converters and permanent magnet traction motors