Dutch public transport operator Qbuzz was looking to deploy their first all-electric busses on lines 1 and 11 in Groningen. They were searching for a special fast charging solution, which would charge the busses as rapidly as possible since the bus lines in the city are long and busy. Qbuzz was also looking for further sustainability of their bus fleet, which would eventually help them transition the whole bus fleet to electric. By 2030 the Netherlands' entire bus fleet is to switch electric, thus all busses in Groningen and the area must operate with zero emissions. Qbuzz was ready to make their first step towards this transition and acquire 10 electric busses.
As the customer was looking for a charging solution for a bus fleet of 10 electric busses that drive long commutes throughout the day, Heliox has created a charging solution that allows for fast charging the busses en route to and at the depot. A combination of opportunity and overnight charging has been provided for this project, following the Bus-Up (roof-mounted pantograph) principles. Heliox provided 3 Heliox OC 300 KW chargers placed en route in 2 separate locations in the city and a total of 6 overnight chargers located in the depot.
Interestingly, two different types of overnight chargers have been placed in the depot: 2 Heliox FAST DC 50 kW chargers and 4 Heliox FAST DC 2x30 kW chargers. By combining opportunity and overnight charging, Heliox has ensured the maximum availability of its operation and optimal uptime of the bus fleet.
With Heliox fast charging equipment comes the flexibility to apply a back office of their preference since Heliox fast charging systems support and connect with whichever OCCP system and remote diagnostics and management system.
This project has been a vital step in large-scale implementations for the Netherlands in electrifying busses and operating with zero emissions by 2030. Eventually, 164 new electric busses were put in operation for Qbuzz in the concession Groningen/Drenthe, in the Netherlands. This is, to date, the largest introduction of electric busses in one go.