New trolleys can fully recharge in 30 seconds

Updated: 2015-08-12 07:43

By Zheng Xin in Beijing and Feng Zhiwei in Changsha(China Daily)

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Train equipment maker CRRC Corp is introducing a fast-charge trolley bus system that trades traditional overhead cables for an energy model that can fully charge a trolley in 30 seconds while passengers are getting on and off.

The company claims that the flash charge supercapacitor is the only one in the world that allows a trolley bus to run for 8 kilometers with 10 seconds of charging.

"The technology is especially suited for buses that make frequent stops over short distances, and greatly reduces the pollution from public transportation," said Zhou Qinghe, the president and general manager of CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co.

"When they brake or run downhill, more than 80 percent of braking energy or potential energy can be transferred to electric energy, which can be stored and reused," Zhou said.

CRRC recently signed a deal with the Ningbo City Passenger Transport Authority for 1,200 trolley buses featuring the company's new charging technology. They will gradually hit the road within five years, Zhou said. The buses are also low-noise and nonpolluting, with the evacuation windows designed to ensure the safety of passengers, he added.

State-owned CSR Corp and CNR Corp combined in May to form CRRC Corp, with the aim of creating economies of scale to help China compete more aggressively for overseas rail deals.

CRRC is negotiating with several European companies, although details were not disclosed. In Eastern European markets, many trolleys are 30 to 40 years old, providing a substantial replacement market, Zhou said.

Aiming to force more Chinese cities to replace their public buses with new-energy models, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Ministry of Transport jointly issued an updated policy in May on fuel subsidies for public buses.

The ministries, which currently pay the cost of fuel for public buses in China's cities, will reduce fuel subsidies every year through 2019, while the new energy vehicles are eligible for an annual subsidiary of up to 80,000 yuan ($12,640).

Ten cities and provinces - including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin - will follow the new policy.

Although supercapacitor buses have been on trial in Shanghai, Hong Kong and other cities for years, the core component of the new bus, an organic supercapacitor made of carbon-based materials, provides for the charging to be conducted more than 1 million times, said Yang Ying, a CRRC expert.

"Compared with other pure electric buses with a lithium ion battery trickle charge, the trolley buses that adopt many lightweight techniques including the aluminum alloy bodywork are 1.2 metric tons lighter on average," Yang said.

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