In September 2017, Prague’s Public Transit Company (DPP) began trials of an electric bus that is being charged dynamically via overhead cables. The ‘Electric Bus with Dynamic Charging’ project will trial the new bus throughout the winter, which will be important to understand the operation of the bus.
DPP’s new trial builds on a history of testing electric buses that goes back to 2010. In contrast to the ongoing trial, previous tests have focused on electric buses that have been statically charged. Such an approach – which effectively limits charging to the bus depot or to turning loop areas – can be restrictive from a technical and economic perspective. Longer breaks for charging are needed, which limits the amount of time that the bus can be in operation.
The new trial will use a specially constructed, one kilometre-long catenary on Prosecká Street, north east of the main city centre. The road was chosen as it is a particularly steep hill, which will enable the DPP to understand the potential for dynamic charging to be used in a situation that would otherwise limit battery life. The bus being trialled is a 12 metre SOR TNB12, which will be followed by the trialling of an 18 metre articulated bus. On the roof of the vehicle, there is a pantograph with which the bus connects with the overhead cable.
The trial is being undertaken in the context of the EU-supported ELIPTIC (Electrification of Public Transport in Cities) project. It coincides with the 45th anniversary of the closure of Prague’s previous trolleybus network in 1972.
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