OsloBuss Building New Charging Facility For Electric Buses

OsloBuss is transitioning away from diesel-powered buses in favor of battery-powered vehicles — the first tour bus company in northern Europe to do so. It now has 10 electric buses manufactured by Yutong in service and will add more in the near future. “Our aim was to be the first company in Norway with an all electric tour us and we succeeded by a good margin,” Fredrik Eijerstam, general manager of OsloBuss tells Elbil, the Norwegian electric vehicle association.

“Our customers and society in general expect a green environmental profile and we believe that an investment in this will benefit us, our customers and society,” OsloBuss says on its website. “The first ten all electric tour buses in the Nordic region are now in operation in Oslo. This is an important milestone for zero emission transport. With a range of up to 400 km on a single charge, they are now ready for quiet and emission free driving. 75 to 80 percent of the trips we drive can now be electrified.”

Each electric bus has seats for 50 passengers and has a battery pack rated at 374 kWh. Heating and cooling systems on the buses are also electric, so they are completely emissions free. The electric buses are charged overnight and are ready for a full day of use after 4 hours of ordinary fast charging.

“We have received a lot of good feedback from drivers and service personnel and not least from the passengers, who are very pleased that it is now easier to choose an environmentally friendly mode of travel. We hope our customers will appreciate buses that will contribute to better air quality, less noise and a more comfortable and quiet journey,” the company says.

Oslobuss electric tour bus

Image courtesy of OsloBuss

 Solar Charging Park For Electric Buses

To support its expansion into all electric transportation, OsloBuss, in conjunction with Wennstrom Solutions, is building an advanced charging park in Oslo for buses and other large electric vehicles. It currently has twelve 80 kW chargers, but plans to increase that number to 30. The charging park has its own solar panels and battery storage system. A wind turbine is also planned for later this year.

A separate management system charges the battery pack during the day and provides quick charging for the buses when they are parked. The control system reduces the power load on the grid and at the same time provides predictability of electricity consumption, which helps reduce the cost of charging the buses.

“This is our moon landing! We have a goal of having an emission-free bus fleet by 2023 and this management system is an important step on the way,” says Svein Busch Iversen, chairman of OsloBuss. “We find that more and more travelers are asking for fossil free transport and it is a pleasure to be able to offer them just that.”

Wennstrom specializes in delivering products and services for charging buses, cars, trucks, and even ferries. “We have built a completely new type of charging park with an innovative distribution of power output through a larger battery bank and electricity production from solar cells on the roof and facade. We combine this with an advanced management system for power output and charging pattern,” says project manager Helge Falkendal.

“There are several factors we manage according to, these can be times of the day, driving patterns and the simultaneity factor of the number of buses charging at the same time. We then manage the distribution of energy so that power peaks are avoided and power tariffs are kept low.”

Driver Egil Nerhovde tells Elbil, “Although mileage depends on both terrain, temperature and…the driver’s driving style, it is completely unproblematic to drive well over 400 kilometers before the bus has to be charged again. Then we would like to have 12-20 percent battery capacity left. In addition, the buses are good to drive and they are much quieter than the traditional diesel buses.”

Norway aggressively supports electric cars, trucks, and buses and that support is critical to convincing companies like OsloBuss to purchase electric buses and install the charging infrastructure for them. Next time you are in Oslo and want to see the fjords from an emissions free bus, OsloBuss, which serves more than 1.2 million passengers a year, will be happy to help you realize your goal.

Thanks to Are Hansen for sharing the Elbil story with us. 


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