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Road transport is one of the world’s biggest challenges in the reduction of greenhouse gases and the need to improve air quality in cities such as London. This means that the majority of bus depots around the capital must be equipped with electric charging infrastructure within the next few years.
Arriva, one of London’s biggest bus operators, recently replaced half of the 44 double-decker buses at its Brixton Tramshed depot in south London with new electric vehicles. The original Tramshed at Brixton dates back to 1892 and the depot has limited space and structurally does not support overhead charging infrastructure. With a traditional charging solution, Arriva would lose seven parking spaces, a sixth of its Brixton Tramshed fleet, and be unable to charge all the vehicles overnight.
The challenge was to find an exceptionally compact and scalable solution using the minimal amount of charging infrastructure, fitting into the limited space available and which could be easily extended when the rest of the fleet turns electric.
Zenobē, Arriva’s solution provider to electrify the Brixton Tramshed depot, chose Hitachi Energy’s Grid-eMotionTM Fleet, a complete grid-to-plug smart charging solution for bus and commercial vehicle fleets.
Grid-eMotionTM Fleet connects to any type of power network – AC, DC, low or medium voltage – and provides a seamless charging system with a wide choice of charging interfaces. It is ideal for urban bus depots that operates under severe space constraints. Comprising a modular high-powered charging system and grid connection within a very compact footprint, it requires up to 60 percent less space and 40 percent less cabling than alternative solutions.
This is thanks to three solution differentiators: DC charging technology, which is much more compact than AC; slimline charging pedestals, each of which charges two vehicles; and modularity - the modules can be housed either in one cabinet or placed separately wherever there is space.
As the overall solution provider, Zenobē financed the solution and provided Arriva with smart charging software and a risk-free battery replacement agreement.
“We’re proud to have partnered with Arriva and found solutions to several constraints to electrify the Brixton depot,” said Steven Meersman, Zenobē Co-founder and Director. “The 22 e-buses in operation are now helping to clean the local air and tackle climate change.”
“We are honored to have delivered our uniquely compact smart fleet-charging infrastructure to help make London’s iconic double-decker buses emission-free.” says Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “As an e-mobility technology leader, we are committed to accelerate the electrification of transport to enable cities and countries to meet their net-zero emission targets.”
Thanks to the Grid-eMotionTM Fleet grid-to-plug solution, Arriva could upgrade its space-constrained Brixton Tramshed depot with state-of-the-art charging infrastructure without losing parking spaces.
The solution modules can be housed in a single cabinet or separated and placed wherever space permits.
Each slimline pedestal can charge two vehicles, a considerable space saving compared to alternative solutions.
Grid-eMotionTM Fleet is scalable and future-proof. It enables Arriva to simply add more pedestals and modules when it replaces the rest of the fleet with electric buses.
To help address the overall decarbonization of public transport, Transport for London has committed that all new bus purchases will be zero emission, so that a fully zero-emission bus network can be delivered by 2034 or potentially earlier subject to government funding. This is an ambitious target to address the entire bus fleet in London of around 9,000 vehicles.