ABB, Volvo Bus and Birmingham Airport have announced a collaboration which will see the launch of an environmentally-friendly passenger transport service in and around the airport.
Available from November 2019 to the airport’s 13 million annual passengers, retail staff and airline crew, the service will see six Volvo 7900e fully electric, low emission single deck buses service the airport grounds.
Due to the requirement for 24/7 operation, each of the Volvo 7900e buses will be recharged en-route using the ‘OppCharge’ opportunity charging pantograph system from ABB. Charging will take two to six minutes to complete, enabling continuous operation for the electric buses without having to spend time in the depot being ‘topped up’ with power.
Initially, two 300kW pantographs will be available outside the airport terminal, with plans to install further pantographs around the bus route if services are expanded. In addition, two 100kW ‘plug in’ charging points using the CCS2 connector for DC fast charging will be available in the airport’s coach park. In the future, these charging points will be made available to other bus operators who adopt electric vehicles.
ABB chargers benefit from cloud connectivity, which allows for remote diagnosis and management, ensuring reliable and efficient infrastructure for bus passengers.
Nick Barton, CEO at Birmingham Airport, said, “This partnership is a key milestone for us. We are always investigating new and innovative ways to reduce our carbon emissions and through the partnership with Volvo Bus UK, we can do just this.
“We have made significant customer service improvements across the airport to increase capacity and improve passenger experience, with the vision of positioning Birmingham as Europe’s leading Airport. The electric buses form part of this vision, not to mention their sustainability benefits being ultra-low emission.
“Since 2012, the airport has reduced its CO2 by 20% per passenger. Implementing the six electric buses will work towards lowering our CO2 per passenger even further.”