Heliox’s fast charging infrastructure powers the world's largest implementation of electric buses

March 28, 2018

On March 28th the world’s largest opportunity and depot charge network of 13 MW is inaugurated. Heliox, as the global market leader, has supplied 109 fast chargers to power a fleet of 100 fully electric vehicles for one of the largest electric bus schemes in the world.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, being the 3rd largest player in Europe, has made a commitment to become one of the most sustainable airports in the world. To achieve this ambitious goal, 100 fully electric buses will be driving in a 24/7 operation on 6 lines in the surroundings of the airport.

This project is unique as it is the first of a kind where installation in multiple sites has taken place simultaneously. As commented by the CEO of Transdev the Netherlands, Bart Schmeink: "I am extremely proud of this impressive performance! Together with the Amsterdam Transport Region, the municipality of Amsterdam, Schiphol, VDL, and Heliox, we were able to deliver this performance. With a concession and a fleet like this, the city of Amsterdam is ready for the future!"

Miriam Hoekstra-van der Deen, Director of Airport Operations at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: "'Schiphol is about more than just planes. It is one of the biggest public transport hubs in The Netherlands. It is fantastic that from today, thousands of passengers, commuters, and employees will be taking green buses from and to Schiphol. Schiphol Airport has helped drive this project forward with great enthusiasm and we are very happy that we have been able to contribute to it. Ultimately, we want Schiphol to be climate-neutral by 2040. This partnership with Connexxion and the Transport Region is a huge step towards this goal."

Heliox Fast Chargers at AML

The new charging infrastructure around the Amsterdam Airport area is a great example of how Heliox’s commitment towards developing open technology already supports largescale projects without any complications.

23 Heliox OC 450 kW chargers have been placed in 4 strategic charging points in the operation, recharging the battery in 2-4 minutes. These chargers are compatible with the roof-mounted system, an interoperable and open interface. Heliox opportunity chargers offer charging in route and recharge as passengers board and exit. The roof-mounted system has proven a reliable and robust system and uses a pantograph mounted on the bus, including remote management to ensure high uptime throughout the operation. Overnight charging, using 84 Heliox Fast DC dual 30 kW chargers, is advantageously completed in the two depots in Amsterdam and Amstelveen.

As a great example of interoperability and strength of open interface, Heliox’s fast chargers can communicate and connect with whichever OCPP 1.6 Backoffice system is preferred by the customer. This type of flexibility allows the customer greater visibility and control over the infrastructure network, minimizing downtime and the flexibility to connect to any charging network maximizing the value and insight caught from the chargers. 

The 100 electric articulated VDL Citeas are expected to jointly drive 30,000 km per day. Ard Romers, director VDL Bus & Coach Netherlands: "Over the past year, we have taken major steps to further strengthen our position as a transition partner to E-Mobility. Our collaboration with Heliox has been a success, we have gathered a lot of know-how from various zero-emission bus transport projects where maximum availability has been guaranteed to the total system, and of the implementations and modeling of the different systems. Thanks to these experiences, we have now also succeeded in contributing to the successful transition within the Amstelland-Meerlanden concession. Heliox has been a reliable and flexible partner to work on such a large-scale project. A major step has been taken in this region in making public transport more sustainable. "

Taking Heliox’s proven capabilities in evidence, it will include that electric buses enable to whisk people around the airport area between the terminal and long-term parking areas with minimal noise and no pollution.

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According to Mark Smidt, Director of Business Development, Heliox: “The Amsterdam airport area is crowded with heavy traffic moving thousands of passengers every day. When we started working on this large-scale implementation we understood the impact this project would have on the Schiphol Airport area, so we are excited to see how the community will appreciate the benefits of e-mobility through using e-buses every day. This project truly is a great example of how Heliox’s technology is more than capable of supporting large-scale global projects. We are proud to be working with Transdev/Connexxion and our other partners to push the limits of e-mobility even further.”

The Netherlands has been the front-runners of e-mobility and more than 10 cities have been switching to cleaner forms of transport that enable diminish the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Heliox’s integrated systems optimize the reduction of harmful emissions of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and life-threatening particles.

Heliox’s portfolio in DC fast charging solutions ranges from 25kW mobile chargers to Fast OC 600kW solutions for electric vehicles. Heliox is further pushing the limits of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future for the next generations.