Volvo Buses' "7900 Electric Hybrid" pantograph-based EV bus
[Click to enlarge image]

Sumitomo Corp, Saitama Railway Corp, etc aim to realize an electric bus (EV bus) that can be charged by using a pantograph.

Electricity regenerated at the time of decelerating a train is stored in a storage battery, and, then, it is used to charge the EV bus. The companies expect to introduce the bus for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic Games, aiming to develop a method to charge the bus in five minutes and efficiently operate the bus.

The project was entrusted by Japan's Ministry of the Environment to Sumitomo. Hitachi Ltd will develop a system to store regenerated power in a storage battery. Exergy Power Systems Inc, a venture firm spun off from the University of Tokyo, is responsible for battery technologies. And Waseda University Academic Solutions Corp will evaluate the traveling performance and operation of the bus (See related article).

The goal of the project is to establish an efficient EV bus operation system by using a pantograph-based charging system and electricity regenerated by trains. Pantograph-based charging system can supply a large amount of power, making it easy to shorten charging time, which is an issue facing EVs.

The EV bus to be developed will be charged with an output of 250kW, which is five times higher than the output of "Chademo" (mainstream charging technology in Japan).

Original Japanese article