The challenge to the industry was clear - to create an entire public transportation system of the region with electric busses. Transdev/Connexxion, the public transport operator in this region, was committed to electrifying its entire bus fleet in Eindhoven. The goal was to charge 43 18-metres articulated e-busses while keeping the bus operator’s highest up-time and overall minimal adjustments.
A project with such a wide scope and magnitude for an e-bus infrastructure implementation, had not been successfully attempted anywhere in Europe, at that time.
This project was the very first large-scale implementation in Europe and deployed a total of 43 electric VDL busses. The implementation and commissioning of this project were completed in a short time frame of 3 months.
Heliox fast charging equipment was strategically delivered at the bus depot to create the most efficient and cost-effective solution for a project of this scale. Heliox supplied a fast charging system that relied solely on the Bus-Up solution. Both opportunity and overnight chargers automatically communicated with the busses through a roof-mounted pantograph creating a robust and a time-efficient charging system.
For overnight charging Heliox provided 12 Heliox FAST DC 2x30 kW chargers with 24 individual charging points. The 10 Heliox OC 300 kW chargers automatically downgraded at night as a cost-saving measure. SMART Switch, Heliox's latest innovation, was implemented to maximize charging intervals. Using the SMART Switch allows to charge two busses with one charger, while automatically switching from the fullest to the emptier bus.
As all charging took place at the depot, the customer had a compact solution for its infrastructure, while ensuring the busses were in regular operation. Additionally, Heliox has also provided 2 Heliox FAST DC 25 kW mobile chargers at the depot for maintenance and service use.
The Eindhoven project has been regarded as the largest electric public transport bus fleet in Europe and the world's largest opportunity charged fleet between 2016-2018.